Rice noodles are probably one of the easiest things to cook ever. Well, maybe ‘cook’ is an overstatement. Rice noodles simply need to rest in a pot of boiled water for 2-3 minutes and they are good to go. Make sure not to leave them in the water for too long otherwise they may turn mushy.
The nice thing about noodle salads is that they are more filling than many other types of salads and they don’t get soggy, so they are a great little treat to keep in the fridge for a few days. They are also handy to have when you have house guests staying with you, so they can graze on the salad whenever they feel like it.
Noodle salads are extremely versatile and there are so many different combinations of flavors and vegetables that work. In this recipe, I used kale, spring onions, bell peppers, navel oranges and coriander leaves, and tossed it all in a Plum Sauce Dressing.
NOODLE, KALE and ORANGE SALAD WITH PLUM SAUCE DRESSING
6 Tbsp Chinese Plum Sauce
5 Tbsp soy sauce
5 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1-2 deseeded red chillies finely sliced or 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
A pinch of salt
1 bunch of kale (about 6-8 large stalks)
1 pack (about 200g / 7 oz) of dried brown rice noodles/vermicelli
4 spring onions, finely sliced
2 bell peppers (any color), deseeded and finely sliced
1 cup cilantro/coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2 navel oranges
1 cup roasted peanuts or cashew nuts
- To cook your rice noodles, follow the instructions on the packaging. I usually place the noodles in an empty pot with a generous pinch of salt, boil some water in the kettle, and then pour the boiled water over the noodles in the pot. Cover the pot for 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked (al dente). Drain your noodles and run some cold water over them to cool them down. Toss with a little oil (olive oil or sesame oil) and set aside.
- Make the salad dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
- You can either buy roasted peanuts or cashew nuts, or you can toast them on the stove. Place the nuts in a dry pan over medium heat and stir so that they heat evenly. In about 5 minutes, they will start to brown. Keep moving them on the pan so that they don;t burn. Toast for another few minutes until they are light brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Wash and dry your vegetables.
- Slice your kale very thinly. Put the kale in a large bowl and start massaging it in your hands for about 3 minutes to soften it and make it easier to eat. The kale will shrink to about half it’s volume.
- Finely slice 4 spring onions and 2 bell peppers. Set aside.
- Roughly chop 1 cup of cilantro / coriander leaves. Set aside.
- Peel and cut 2 navel oranges into bite-size pieces.
- To make the salad, put the noodles in the salad bowl and pour all the dressing on top. Toss it well. Add the spring onions, bell peppers, kale, naval oranges and coriander leaves, and toss until everything is evenly mixed. Scatter the roasted nuts on top.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for upto 3 days.