On hot days cool noodle dishes are just the thing to satisfy a yearning for something nutritious, colorful and easy. This low-carb, ramen noodle-style salad ticks all of the taste boxes: spiralized vegetables, thinly sliced omelette, colorful crunchy add-ins and zesty Japanese dressing. Perfect for lunches in the garden, picnics in a cool forest or workday lunchboxes too.
This salad says summer lunch in the garden, listening to the birds and feeling the cooling breeze. Or it would if it would just.stop.raining. Seriously, after two months of zero rainfall, Edinburgh has had a month’s worth of rain in 36 hours. This was up to Tuesday. Now Thursday it has started back up, and God only knows when it will stop. A far cry from the seamless sunshine of last week’s holiday on the idyllic island of Brač, in Dalmatian Croatia. *sigh*
No matter, my cold ramen-style salad, with its oodles of raw, spiralized zucchini (zoodles) and carrots (coodles??), rolled and thinly sliced omelette (optional, if keeping it vegan), colorful crunchy add-ins and zesty Japanese dressing banish the gloom in a shower of colour and flavour. Yummy green edamame provides an extra protein hit, but feel free to sub in popping-fresh young baby peas.
A couple of tips: Although this recipe is for one big ol’ serving, prep double or triple the veggie amounts given below, bung in a zippie bag, and use as the base for a couple of meal riffs during the working week. Ditto the craveable, zingy dressing. If you need those starchy carbs, add in some freshly cooked ramen noodles – it’s easy enough to get whole wheat, baked-not-fried ones in the UK and US. And lastly, make a couple of thin, one-egg omelettes, interleave with baking paper and roll up to cut as required.
This ramen-esque salad is very lunch box and picnic friendly, just keep the dressing separate in its own little jar or pot to add just before you wish to eat. You can even be all 2015 and layer it up in a Mason-type jar. Just promise me you won’t rattle your fork against the side. Does my head in. As does this seemingly endless rain….
Let me know if you make this, and how you adapted it to your taste and appetite. The keys are the spiralised veg and shredded kale, plus the dressing – the rest is entirely up to your creative juices and what’s in season where you are.
By the way, Hiyasa Chuka – on which this is modelled – means “chilled Chinese”; however it is actually a Japanese dish using sauce-drenched cold noodles, crunchy vegetables, ham strips, imitation crab and rolled omelette. You can see why I changed out some of the ingredients. 😉
What are you eating to cool off?
Cold Ramen Zoodle Salad
On hot days cool noodle dishes are just the thing to satisfy a yearning for something nutritious, bright and easy. This low-carb, ramen noodle-style salad ticks all of the taste boxes: spiralized vegetables, thinly sliced omelette, colorful crunchy add-ins and zesty Japanese dressing. Perfect for lunches in the garden, picnics in a cool forest or workday lunchboxes, too. xx
1 small zucchini/courgette/summer squash
1 medium carrot
Handful of tender kale (not anything tough)
2 tbsp light vegetable stock
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp mirin OR sake/dry sherry with a tiny bit of sugar added
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp grated gingerroot
1 small garlic clove, grated
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Grind of black pepper
Add-ons (any combination): baby cucumber slices, steamed asparagus, sliced spring/green onion, thin omelette, marinated tofu, edamame (young soy beans), chopped tomatoes, sweetcorn kernels, cooked actual noodles, sliced red pepper, toasted sesame seeds or other seeds like pumpkin
1. Spiralize or finely julienne the zucchini and carrot; tear or thinly slice the kale. Add all to a bowl.
2. For the dressing, mix all ingredients and gently heat until slightly reduced; strain and cool. Or you can have all of the “bits” in and keep the sauce thin. You can do this way ahead as it keeps for about 2 weeks. Make double or triple.
3. Toss the prepped veg with the sauce and add to a pretty bowl (the pretty bowl is essential, okay?). Top with your selection of add-ons and eat right away.
Japanese and East Asian salads here on Food To Glow
Ginger-Miso Grain and Vegetable Salad (very old post, but delish!)
Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles (parsnip noodles and buckwheat noodles)
More Japanese and East Asian loveliness from friends
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