Weekly Winner:  Cooling off a Hot October with a Simple Noodle Salad

Chicago is going through a strange mid-October heat wave.  It feels like August out there this week!  And while my heart and the calendar are telling me its time for steamy soups, roasted veggies and pumpkin-flavored anything, the thermostat is definitely disagreeing.  I needed some cool, healthy refreshment today for lunch.  I found it with this amazing Cold Asian Noodle Salad with Chicken and Cucumber.

This noodle salad is truly the epitome of Asian simplicity.  There are no “throwaway” ingredients – no laundry list of things to add just for the sake of adding.  Everything is essential and the salad itself is only made up of 6 basic ingredients, three of which are herbs!  It’s incredibly easy to prepare and super-refreshing and delicious to enjoy. But most important for today – it was cold. The recipe comes from Epicurious.

Cold Asian Noodle Salad with Chicken and Cucumbers

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 lb wide rice noodles

8 cups shredded cooked chicken

4 small cucumbers, thinly slides (about 3 cups)

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro (I used flat leaf parsley), chopped

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

Hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek), to taste

Procedure:

  • Cook noodles according to package directions.  Drain, transfer to a large bowl of ice water, drain again, then pat dry.
  • Transfer noodles to another large bowl and add chicken, cucumbers and herbs.
  • Whisk fish sauce, lime juice, honey and soy sauce in a medium bowl.  Season with hot chili paste.  Add fish sauce mixture to noodle salad and stir to combine.
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