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Mar. 31st, 2007

nyanko sensei

cruciverbalist

Noodle Salad, 8 servings

Hello from the Salad Lady! I have tried this recipe out tonight and here are my thoughts...

First off, the recipe [my changes/modifications in bold]:

INGREDIENTS:

* 15 ounces dried soba noodles [I used japanese buckwheat noodles because that's what I had at home]
* 1 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
* 1/3 cup rice vinegar
* 1/3 cup soy sauce
* juice from one lime
* zest of one lime [I omitted the zest because I was lazy]
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
* 1 cup finely grated carrot [I detest raw carrots so I used 1 red bell pepper, sliced & 1 cup bean sprouts]
* 1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pot, cook soba noodles according to package directions. [It says to cut the noodles into 3-inch lengths later but it is infinitely easier if you break the dry noodles in half before you boil them.] Drain, rinse noodles with cold water, and set aside.

2. Pour into a large bowl the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and lime juice. Mix in lime zest, brown sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes; stir until sugar dissolves. Toss in carrots, peanuts, and cilantro. [And in my case, the sliced red bell pepper and bean sprouts.]

3. Cut noodles into 3-inch lengths. Stir into dressing mixture. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

4. Toss salad again before serving. If dry, splash with soy sauce and vinegar. Serve cold.

* * *

So here is a photo of the finished product:

thai noodle salad 1

And a hi-res photo here, if you want to see all the nitty-gritty details.

My thoughts...

The red pepper flakes are quite spicy, so I would suggest using them sparingly. I used half-tbsp instead of the 2 tsp but it was still pretty hot. Which is alright for me but the rest of my family couldn't eat it. Also it was a bit on the salty side so next time I make it I think I will reduce the soy sauce to 1/4 c instead of 1/3 c. Other than that, it was pretty yummy so I'm pretty sure I'll make it again.

Mar. 10th, 2007

sensei_shefu

Fresh Lemon Soda

A twist on the classic lemonade.

Ingredients
1. Lemons
2. Sugar
3. Salt
4. Cold Carbonated water ( aka club soda. I personally love perrier, but any brand works as long as its not flavoured and has a lot of fizz]
4a. some room temperature water

 I make only one glass at a time and usually 1/2 a lemon is enough for me. So using this calculation
# of cups * 1/2 lemons. so if you're making 2 glasses, you would use 1 lemon. Sorry  about the math!

Tip: roll your lemons on the cutting board applying a little pressure with your palm before you cut them. this releases their juices (another tip from Rachel Ray)
Squeeze the lemons into your pitcher or glass.
Add a pinch (I emphasize, a pinch) of salt. You can forfeit this step. but I think it gives it a kick.
Add 2-3 teaspoons of sugar for every 1/2 lemon you add.
Add some water, just enough so you can mix it until the sugar dissolves. Next pour in the ice cold carbonated water and serve with ice
on a hot summer day with cucumber sandwiches.
;)

The amount of sugar, lemon juice, etc., will change depending on how sweet or lemony you like your drink. :)


Enjoy!

sensei_shefu

Cucumber Sandwiches

I made these for my friends and was thoroughly surprised many had not even heard of them and if they had, they had never tasted it.

It is extremely simple to make so I think this is a good post to start off the community with.

Ingredients:

1. White Sandwich Bread [ like Wonderbread in USA]
2. Cucumber [ I used the english cucumber because I like having the skin/peel on and it's seedless. For the other cucumber we get in the supermarkets here, they use waxes and other crap to make it look edible and so always remove the skin of those. I learned this from Rachel Ray :( ].
3. Salt
4. Black pepper
5. Butter (salted and at room temperature. Substitution: classic Mayo; I've had it with mayo about 15 years ago. It tasted alright. I'm not a big fan of Mayo).

Take 2 bread slices and cut off the sides [don't cut it off if you really don't care].
Apply a little butter (or mayo)on one side [both sides if you're feeling indulgent].
Cut up the cucumber into relatively thin slices (circular). Place these slices on one slice of the bread. Place as many as you like. I, personally, prefer at least 2 layers.
Next sprinkle some salt and black pepper to taste on the cucumber slices and top it off with the second bread slice.

Cut into triangles or rectangles depending on which shape you like better.

This goes well with a side of lays classic salted potato chips. Don't get the flavoured potato chips--go with the classic style and without the ruffles. Also fresh homemade lemonade goes reallly well with it.
The white bread slices with little bits of green cucumbers peeking out makes it a really elegant looking sandwich.

An important note regarding the bread: Make it the day you buy the bread. The soft, seemingly fresh, texture is the best. However, if it's a few days old and refridgerated, very, very, lightly toasting it also works, but it changes the taste a bit.
In terms of substitutions for butter, there are lots of variations. You could use Caesar dressing or Ranch, perhaps.  My mom loves to slather on a layer of Indian homemade mint chutney. But that recipe is for another post. :)

Enjoy!

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