Robbie has a favorite lunch when he is working from home—miso soup with mixed veggies and brown rice noodles. He was fixing this for several months until I got on the bandwagon. It makes a light, gluten free and yummy mid-day meal. While I prepare mine a bit differently, with edamame out of the shell, finished with cut pieces of nori seaweed sheets, the bottom line is we keep plenty of Annie Chun’s rice noodles in the pantry. About 6 months ago our Park City Whole Foods stopped carrying the ¼-inch noodles. We tried the skinny rice noodles but they just don’t feel the same on the tongue, so, not to be deterred and disappointed, I found them on-line, at alice.com an Internet “marketplace” with free shipping. When Alice thinks it is time for us to order more noodles she sends us an email.
The calendar says it is summer, though the cool nights and monsoonal afternoons have us wondering. Maybe the heat in this Rice Noodle Salad will raise the thermometer, both inside and out.
Rice Noodle Salad
8 ounces dry Pad Thai brown rice noodles (1/4-inch-wide noodles)
1 cup unsalted, lightly roasted peanuts or cashews
4 green onions, chopped and divided in two portions
½ cup sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoon lime juice or rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup hot water
1 medium (8-ounce) cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded or cut into think half-moons
1 small zucchini, cut into matchstick lengths
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
¼ cup chopped fresh lemon basil
1/2 cup unsalted, lightly roasted peanuts
8 ounces Thai or teriyaki “Oriental style” baked tofu, diced, optional
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Break the rice noodles in half and add them to the water. Boil, stirring frequently, until a noodle fished from the water is just tender, 3-1/2 to 4 minutes. Be careful, another minute can easily overcook the noodles. Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water, and drain again thoroughly. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the nuts until they are small pieces. Add half of the green onions, along with the sweet chili sauce, grated ginger, lime juice, soy sauce and sesame oil. Puree with hot water to make a sauce to coat the noodles. In a bowl combine the remaining green onions, cucumber, carrot, zucchini and jalapeno chile. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Mix in the lemon basil and remaining peanuts and the tofu, if using. Serve cold.