This is a nice change from the usual summer salad because of the crisp vegetables used and the tangy ginger lime dressing. You can use any mix of crunchy vegetables, but some of the common ones used in Asian salads are: cabbage, carrots, snow peas, peppers, radishes, cucumbers, bok choy and green onions. Fresh herbs like mint or cilantro add a nice flavor – and make sure you have fresh ginger and a lime or two on hand!
I went to my favorite local farm to see what they had that might work well in an Asian salad. They grow and sell whatever is seasonal and I found some beautiful Chinese cabbage, purple scallions, baby carrots, a red pepper, crisp cucumbers and baby radishes. I had lots of fresh mint in my garden which I added as well.
There is no exact recipe for this salad except for the Lime Ginger Dressing provided below. You will need some udon, soba or vermicelli noodles which you should prepare ahead according to the directions. Set aside in the refrigerator. (I tossed them with a little sesame oil first).
* Wash and prep the vegetables. You can chop them all or just some of them, whichever you prefer. For display purposes I chopped some of the cabbage and left some pieces whole to make a bed for the rest of the salad. The carrots can be whole, chopped, sliced or grated. If you use snow peas I recommend blanching them quickly in boiling water and then putting them in an ice bath to keep them crisp. Whatever vegetable you choose should be fresh, colorful and crunchy!
The Ginger Lime Dressing:
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 TB. ginger freshly grated (ground ginger can be used in a pinch)
- 2 TB. of sesame oil
- juice of one lime
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 2 TB. of rice vinegar
- 1 TB. of soy sauce
- 1 TB. of finely chopped fresh mint
- (another few TB. of chopped mint to scatter into the salad)
* whisk the above ingredients together in a small bowl.
To assemble the salad find a pretty platter and spread a few large leaves of cabbage on it. Add more chopped cabbage and the rest of the cut and prepared veggies. Add the cold cooked noodles to it and pour the Ginger Lime dressing over it all. You can throw on some extra mint (or cilantro if preferred), lime wedges and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.
This is a light and refreshing summer salad that is very easy to prepare and is a nice change from tomato based salads!