Asian noodle salad comes in a rich assortment of recipes, created by the various noodle eating regions of Asia, like China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam. These are healthy flavorful salads, often served as an accompaniment to Asian meals. Boiled noodles and vegetables like Chinese cabbage, snow peas, carrot, scallions and bell peppers are commonly used in these preparations. The ingredients are tossed in a dressing made using Asian condiments like soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, chili sauce and vinegar. The salads generally have a crunchy mouth feel and a spicy flavor. Some Asian noodle salad recipes even use roasted or deepfried noodles for extra crunch.
The use of noodles in the salads is believed to have descended as an Asian tradition of serving quick noodle meals. The Oriental noodle salad recipes are believed to have gained ground in the 1980s – 1990s, especially in the U.S, as a part of the New Asian cuisine. The noodles generally used ranged from ramen to soba, although these days, the modern Asian noodle salad recipes are using Italian pasta and spaghetti noodles as well.
Popular Methods of Preparation of Asian Noodle Salad
Thai Noodle Salad with Shrimp and Vegetables – This low-fat salad is generally made using wheat noodles and sometimes, fettuccine pasta noodles. These noodles are cooked al dente and then, tossed with cooked shrimps, freshly chopped basil, roasted cashews or peanuts, cilantro or coriander, bell pepper, baby corn, onions, tomato, green or red chilies and zucchini. The salad is dressed in a mixture of sugar, soy sauce, garlic, fish sauce, chili sauce and lime juice.
Classic Asian Noodle Salad - This salad requires stirring together cooked noodles, toasted sesame seeds, carrot, scallions and radish. The dressing used in this salad is a mixture of vinegar, red pepper flakes, garlic, oil, soy sauce and ginger.
Oriental Cold Noodle Salad – The recipe calls for cutting the cooked soba noodles and tossing them with cilantro, peanuts and carrots. The last step calls for stirring the ingredients in a dressing made of sesame oil, lime zest and juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, garlic and sugar. This salad is refrigerated and served cold with beer and barbecued chicken. For a Japanese flavor in the salad, cilantro, pepper flakes and peanuts can be replaced with nori seaweed shreds and soba can be replaced with ramen noodles.
Chilled Asian Noodle Salad – This chilled salad is prepared by mixing together cooked spaghetti noodles and cooked mushrooms. A soy mixture made of sesame oil, soy sauce, tahini, mushroom broth, vegetable oil, hot sauce, ginger, vinegar and sugar is then used for coating the noodles. In the end, carrot, cabbage, coriander, snow peas and green onions are tossed with the noodles. The salad is refrigerated for up to four hours.
Asian Noodle Salad with Hot and sour prawns – Prawns are first prepared for this salad, which are split in the middle, marinated in a mixture of ginger and chilies and cooked in lime zest and juice. The cooked noodles are tossed with shredded pak choi, sesame oil, ginger, chilies, coriander, vegetable oil, peanuts and lime juice and zest. A dipping sauce is made by mixing passion fruit juice, lime juice and sweet chili sauce. All the three preparations are then served together.
Asian Noodle Salad with Chicken and Cashews – For this salad, the boneless and skinless chicken breast is marinated in a mixture of hot chili sauce, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, canola oil, and seasoned rice vinegar, in a zip lock bag, and stored in the refrigerator for an hour. The chicken is then, grilled and cut into chunks. The spaghetti noodles are cooked and tossed with cashews, snow peas, carrots, cilantro, onion, red and orange bell peppers, mandarin oranges and combined with the grilled chicken.