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Szechuan Noodle Salad
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp chili oil or chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp corn starch or arrowroot powder
juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
1lb soba noodles
2 tbsp hijiki seaweed, soaked and cut into small pieces or seaweed flakes, unsoaked
4 scallions, minced
1 carrot, shredded
1 sweet red pepper, julienned
1/2 English cucumber
2 avocado, cubed
1/4 cup roasted cashews
1. Heat oils in pot over medium heat. Add garlic and chili and saute briefly being careful not to let them burn.
Stir in vinegar, soy sauce and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add honey, stirring to dissolve.
Mix corn starch and a couple of tablespoons of water and whisk into simmering liquid. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes.
When the mixture has thickened slightly, remove from heat and cool. Stir in lime juice and cilantro and set aside.
2. Meanwhile cook noodles according to the package. Drain and rinse in cold, running water. Remove excess water.
Lightly toss with sesame oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Before serving combine chilled noodles with prepared vegetables except avocado. Coat liberally with dressing and toss well.
Garnish with avocado and cashews. Serve immediately.