Fresh Peanut Noodle Salad

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Fresh and seasonal eating expert Louisa Shafia shows how to prepare an Asian-inspired noodle salad. It makes the perfect no-cook summer salad with infused with peanut flavor.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Louisa Shafia, on eHow.com. Today, I'm going to show you how to make a simple peanut noddle salad with rice noodles, fresh herbs and crunchy peanuts. To start, I'm going to make a flavorful dressing with some Asian ingredients. I'm going to start with some soy sauce, a nice dollop of peanut butter and I'm using an organic crunchy peanut butter but you can use whatever you have around. This is going to give my salad a nice fatty richness and a lot of flavor. I'm going to add some rice vinegar. I have some sesame oil here, some toasted sesame oil. This gives it a little bit of a smoky flavor and I'm going to add a dash of honey for some sweetness just to set off all the rest of my flavors and I'll add just a little bit of water to thin my dressing and then whisk it around and I just want to whisk it until it's smooth and all my ingredients are worked in. This looks great. Next I'm going to add my rice noodles. I boiled these in water for five minutes and then I ran them under cold water to stop the cooking. I didn't want to overcook these rice noodles. Once they were soaked in rice water, I tossed them with a little bit of olive oil so they wouldn't stick together and now they're ready to throw in my salad. Rice noodles are a great alternative to wheat noodles if you're gluten intolerant or you just want to try a different flavor. I also find them to be a little bit lighter than regular pasta noodles. So I've got my noodles in here. Now I'm going to add some other ingredients. I chopped up some vegetables for the salad. I have some fresh carrots that I sliced into matchsticks. These will add a nice color to my salad. I have some Napa cabbage, which is light and crunchy and I just shredded this. You could use any kind of cabbage in here. You could use red cabbage. You could use green cabbage but I like Napa because it really has a nice Asian flavor. Let's put some of that in. I've got some sliced scallions. I've got some minced ginger. Now this is quite a lot of ginger. I'll just put about half because ginger is pretty spicy. I'm tossing in some fresh basil and mint. If you have cilantro, you could use that in here. Thai basil would be wonderful, that's a special kind of basil that has a little bit of a lemony flavor and comes from Southeast Asia. I'm just going to toss my salad now. I want to coat my noodles and the vegetables with the dressing. If you're looking for rice noodles, you can find them at Asian food stores. You can also find them at gourmet stores and natural markets. Some varieties of rice noodles don't even need to be cooked. You can just boil water, pour it over the noodles and let the noodles sit in the hot water without ever going on the stove. There are different varieties out there, so check them out, see which one you like best. This salad looks beautiful. It's got all kinds of bright colors. It's got lots of crunchy textures, lots of fresh herbs. So I'm going to serve it with some lime wedges and then as a garnish, I'm using toasted peanuts. Umm, the peanuts give it some more crunch and some more flavor. This looks wonderful. I'm going to top it with a little salt. Umm, that is a beautiful Summer salad, looks great. Thanks for joining me. I'm Louisa Shafia. See you next time on eHow.com.

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