At a casual noodle house in Seattle, my sister-in-law ordered her favorite dish, a composed vegetarian salad. Mounds of colorful vegetables cascaded over cooked noodles and a chunk of tofu to make a stylish main-dish salad. A small decanter of soy-sesame dressing accompanied the plate. The salad, like the café, was modern and fresh.
The most complicated element of the preparation was the salad dressing, but with JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce or JADE Sesame Soy Marinade, this salad is effortless.
It’s so easy to duplicate this salad for an easy summer lunch or light supper. This is free-form salad. You can vary the ingredients to fit what you have on hand. Even leftover cooked vegetables and meats work. Choose a variety of vegetables. Or replace tofu with cooked tiny shrimp, even thinly sliced leftover cooked steak or cooked chicken. Mound the elements separately on plates or wide shallow bowls for a company-worthy presentation.
JADE Vegetarian Noodle Salad Plate
If you don’t like tofu uncooked, pan brown drained, dried tofu slices in an oiled non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, until browned on both sides, 5 to 8 minutes total. Or for a non-vegetarian version replace tofu with 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked tiny shrimp, thinly sliced leftover cooked steak, or shredded cooked chicken.
Makes 2 main dish servings4 ounces dried soba noodles or Chinese wheat noodles 1/3 cup JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce or Sesame Soy Marinade, or to taste 8 to 12 ounces firm tofu (see note above) 1/2 to 3/4 cup each of 3 or 4 different vegetables such as thinly slivered carrots, red bell peppers, cucumbers, cooked green beans, napa or common cabbage 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh cut raw or cooked corn kernels (optional) 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in halves 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil. Add noodles and cook just until barely tender to bite, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water, and drain again. In a bowl mix noodles with 2 tablespoons of the JADE sauce.
2. Drain tofu at least 5 minutes in a colander. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch thick slices. If desired, cut in smaller bite-sized pieces. Set tofu on towels and pat dry. (If you prefer, pan browned tofu, see note above.)
3. On each of 2 large shallow bowls or dinner plates, place half the noodles in a mound. Set half the tofu alongside. Mound vegetables, corn, and tomatoes in separate piles around the noodles. Sprinkle green onions over noodles. Offer JADE Sichuan Peanut Sauce or JADE Sesame Soy Marinade to drizzle over salad to taste. Mix lightly.