April 01, 2008

Cold Black Rice Noodle Salad with Mixed Vegetables

13 oz black rice noodles
1/2 lb snow peas
1/2 lb broccoli florets
3-6 bunches tat soi, cut into 1 inch wide strips
6 dried shiitaki mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced thinly
1 bunch green onions, sliced

for the dressing:
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 inch knob ginger, grated
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Cook the noodles according to package instructions, keeping care to stir frequently so they do not clump together. Meanwhile, steam the snow peas, broccoli and tat soi. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Set aside. Rinse the noodles in cold water then drain. Place in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Add the vegetables and mushrooms and stir to evenly distribute. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Yield: about 4-6 servings

My thoughts:

When I found these black rice noodles I immediately started thinking of what high contrast foods I could pair with it. I finally decided to make a cold noodle salad. The noodles have a almost nutty flavor and really absorbed the flavor of the sauce without losing its own character. I made them as a side dish for dinner last night with the idea that we would eat what was left for lunch today. You know what? While we enjoyed them immensely last night, I think they are even better today; the flavors really came together and the vegetables stayed nice and crunchy.

Note: If you cannot find black rice noodles, regular, thin rice noodles or even somen could be substituted but the texture and flavor of the noodles will be different. Additionally, 3 bunches of baby bok choy could be substituted for the smaller tat soi.