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Cold noodle salad that might have at some point been Asian inspired

February 7, 2011

Before anyone gets any fancy-pants ideas, this is not fancy. I mean, this photo that got taken at the very last minute as I scrambled to find a non-distracting surface to perch it on isn’t great, but it’s not all that pretty to look at anyway, though I’m sure it could be if styled by someone more competent.

This is also not going to make everyone swoon. It’s a love-it-or-hate-it kind of dish – I love it, my boyfriend hates it. I love it like I love most things dressed in  something sour + something salty. In this case, Chinese black vinegar (which in Chinese is called “fragrant vinegar” – which it really is) + Japanese soy sauce. I also added a splash of rice wine vinegar, but it’s totally optional of course. Add spring onion and sesame oil, and there’s not much to dislike, right?

…You’ll have to get back to me on that one. In any case, I’ve given you fair warning. Glance over the ingredients list before proceeding! You will almost definitely want to go to a proper Asian supermarket for these, and there are so many with English translations (only some of which are hilarious) now that you really don’t have much of an excuse not to. Try Kosco in Christchurch if you’re an Asian supermarket newbie.

One redeeming feature, before you cast your hungry eye elsewhere: this is very, very adaptable. You can use different veges, even noodles, but keep the dressing.

Asian-y cold noodle salad

serves one

  • 1″ thick bundle mung bean, kumara (sweet potato), or rice noodles
  • two small handfuls of thinly sliced veges (I used cucumber and carrots, but red peppers, Chinese cabbage, or mild lettuce would be fine)
  • a few Tablespoons finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 egg + a few drops water
  • oil and salt for the egg


  • about 2 Tbs good Japanese vinegar (eg. Kikkoman or Yamasa)
  • about 3 Tbs Chinese black vinegar or rice wine vinegar or both
  • drizzle of sesame oil

Toss veges, spring onion and dressing ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix.

In a small saucepan, pour boiling water over the noodles just to immerse and bring to a gentle simmer on medium low heat. Turn off heat and let noodles sit.

In a small frypan, heat 2-3 Tbs oil on medium heat. Once oil is hot (a bead of water flicked into the pan should sizzle dramatically), pour in egg. Once set, stir it up and break up. Mix in salt, then add to the veges.

Drain noodles in a sieve and run under cold water. Let drip dry a little before mixing with the veges and egg.

Taste, and add more vinegar/soy sauce until flavoured to your liking.

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