Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thai Inspired Noodle Salad with Lemon Ginger Shrimps



After a cold soup, a cool drink, its a cold Salad's turn to beat the heat. 

The summer vacation are on and my lunches are no longer a leftover affair. It now needs the meticulous planning and attention that my dinner usually gets. With the temperature so high, I hardly have any inclination to cook anything. Cold soup and salads often come to the rescue. But with a five year old who wants pasta for lunch everyday, innovation is the only solution.






The inspiration of this yummy noodle salad comes from two sources: Panera’s Chilled Shrimp & Soba Noodle Salad (a seasonal salad) and my favorite Thai restaurant Sukhothai's Spicy Mung Bean Noodle Salad (Yum Wun Sen)

I remember having the Chilled Shrimp & Soba Noodle Salad at Panera last summer and absolutely loving it. The dressing was a sweet orange-miso dressing and though I liked it, it was too sweet for my palate. 

The spicy Mung Bean Noodle Salad (Yum Wun Sen) at Sukhothai was a absolutely stunning. It was everything I wanted in that salad. Fresh, crunchy and spicy. The dressing was to die for. Thick creamy, peanut(y), with a tangy-spicy kick. However, I am not too crazy about the Mung Bean Noodles, also called Cellophane noodles. 

So on one hot and sticky afternoon, Panera’s Shrimp and Soba Noodle and Sukhothai's Spicy Mung Bean Noodle Salad dressing created A Whiff of Spice's Thai Inspired Noodle Salad with Lemon Ginger Shrimps. A salad meal I can live on for eternity! 






The shrimps were super easy to cook. I just marinated them for just five minutes in lemon and ginger juice and pan seared for three minutes a side. They made a delightful pairing with the cold noodle salad. 






Shrimp had always been my meal savers. They thaw out quickly, they cook super fast and they make every thing taste awesome. And any dish that has shrimps in it, Sid will gobble up with out a whimper. Honestly, I was very presently surprised when he polished off his portion of the salad with out a single protest. Yes! it was that delicious. 


Recipe Snapshot: Thai Inspired Noodle Salad with Lemon Ginger Shrimps

Serves: 2 serving

What I used:
For the salad:
Japanese Soba Noodles (Buckwheat Noodles)
or 
Whole Wheat Thin Spaghetti - 1/2 a packet (175 gms approx) 

Water and salt
Sesame seed oil  - 1 tsp

Assorted Veggies of choice - 3 cups, thinly sliced or julienned 
(I used 2 small carrots, 1 red bell pepper, 1 small head of broccoli and snow peas).

Green onion / Scallions - 4, thinly sliced
Toasted Sesame seeds - 2 tsp
Roasted peanuts - 2 tbsp, lightly crushed


For the Dressing:
Peanut butter - 2 tbsp
Fish Sauce - 1 tsp
Soy Sauce - 2 tsp
Sriracha or any hot sauce - 1 tsp (or more if you wish)
Sesame seed oil - 1 tsp
Ginger - a small knob, very finely minced
Honey or agave - 2 tsp
Water - 2 - 3 tsp 


For the Shrimps:
Large Shrimps - about 1/2 a pound (12 to 16 pcs), thawed, cleaned (tails on) and deveined 
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Ginger Juice - 1 tsp (grate a knob of ginger and use your fingers to extract the juice)
Salt
Freshly cracked pepper
Oil spray


What I did:
The salad:
1. Cook the noodles (or spaghetti) in salted water till al dente. Drain it, rinse it in cold water to prevent further cooking, and then drizzle about a teaspoon or two of sesame seed oil to prevent it from sticking with each other. Keep aside.

2. Cut, dice or julienne your veggies. I julienned my carrots and red bell pepper, chopped my broccoli really tiny and kept my snow peas whole. Blanch the snow peas if you wish.

3. Now combine everything under "For the Dressing" and mix with a small whisk. The dressing will be really thick. Add a teaspoon of water at a time to thin it out. The soy sauce and the fish sauce has lots of salt and hence no extra salt is required. If not using fish sauce or soy sauce, add some salt as per your taste. 

4. In a big salad bowl, combine the noodles, sliced green onions (the white and the light green parts), the veggies and the crushed roasted peanuts. Pour over the dressing and toss well to combine. Take care so that all the strands of the noodles are coated with the thick creamy dressing. 

5. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions (the green parts).

6. If you want, you can chill the salad for one hour before serving. But I prefer it at room temperature and so I served it straight away with Lemon Ginger Shrimps.


The Shrimps:
1. Marinate the thawed out shrimps in lemon juice, ginger juice, salt and freshly cracked pepper for not more than 10 minutes or else the lemon juice will start cooking the shrimps.

2. Heat a non stick pan over medium heat. Spray it with cooking spray.

3. Sear the shrimps for 3-4 minutes on each side. They will turn opaque and pink and the juices will run clear. 

4. Server warm or cold or at room temperature with the cold noodles. 



Diabetic Platter:
Buckwheat noodles are another name for Soba noodles, a type of noodle that became popular in Japan during the late 1800s. Made from buckwheat flour, these noodles are typically cooked, rinsed and served cold with a variety of dipping sauces or in a hot, clear broth. Buckwheat noodles are fat- and cholesterol-free and are a good source of nutrients like manganese, lean protein, carbohydrates and thiamine. Since buckwheat does not contain gluten, buckwheat noodles are a good choice for people following a gluten-free diet.

4 comments:

  1. Word of mouth and my own experience, more than vouch for how delectable each of these creations would be. Your blogs not only exude a whiff of spice but create a gust of hunger too. Please continue the good work and keep your patrons salivating...............................................................

    I would be sharing this recipe with my spouse (for my Son who is 6.5 years old, although he is done with his summer vacation for the year) and with my sister (for my niece who is 4 years old) ,

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    1. Thanks for visiting and your kind words Sameer... Hope the kids like it.

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  2. Mouth watering. Very recently I have started to enjoy shrimps. Sounds very good.

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    1. Thanks a ton Preethi... your sewing blog is so stunning... Boy!!! there so much talent around!

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