Posted on July 15th, 2012
This past week has been scorching hot; the humidity stifling. I live in the city. The smog hangs over the us during the afternoons like cob webs in a stuffy attic. All the concrete and roads does not help the conditions either. I feel like I am in a large frying pan. In these conditions, I want to take cold showers before bed. I want a siesta. I want to lounge about reading a good novel. And, I want to eat meals that have a cooling effect. I just started a new gig as I mentioned in my last post, so during the week I don’t get to siesta or lounge about reading a good novel. But, thankfully I can take cooling showers before bed and I can eat cool food like this Vegan Udon Salad with Peanut Sauce & Lime to keep the heat at bay. Not only is this dish cool, it is inspired by south east asian flavorings and is a complete dinner unto itself if–you want it to be. It has protein, a variety of veggies, including dark green ones, and noodles soaked in a peanut sauce.
Udon noodles are thick white noodles made from wheat. They are traditionally eaten in Japan, China and Korea. I first had them in a hot soup at one of my favorite Japanese restaurants. It can be served hot or cold. You can buy them fresh, dried or preboiled. If I am in a big rush, I use the preboiled ones but by and large I use the ones that come in a spaghetti looking box.
|Vegan Udon Salad with Peanut Sauce & Lime (Served Cold)|
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms halved
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1/2 english cucumber sliced into rounds & then quartered
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 2 cups of bean sprouts rinsed
- 1-2 carrot shredded
- 2 cups of spinach shredded
- 600 g preboiled udon or 200g package of dry udon
- Peanut Sauce:
- 1/8 cup tamari
- 1 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 5 cloves of garlic pressed
- 2 inches ginger peeled and pressed
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp paprika
- Juice from 1.5 – 2 limes
- 3/4 cup filtered water
- 1/2 lb block of firm tofu diced
- Prepare the udon according to the directions on the package.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the ingredients for the peanut sauce except for the tofu. Whisk with a fork until the mixture is an even consistency. Work out any lumps of peanut butter. (Don’t use an actual whisk. The peanut butter just gets stuck in it.) Add the diced tofu to the peanut sauce once smooth. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
- Once the udon is cooked, put it in a colander and rinse with cold water. Then put it in a large bowl and place in the freezer.
- Wash, slice, dice and prepare the vegetables. Pile on a large plate or bowl.
- Separate out the cilantro to use as a garnish.
- Remove the noodles from the freezer and the peanut sauce from the fridge. Dip the noodles in the peanut sauce until coated. Remove and place on a large serving platter or bowl. Spoon the tofu pieces onto the noodles using a slotted spoon.
- Serving Method 1:
- Place the chopped vegetables around the edge of the udon noodles and serve. Provide the remainder of the peanut sauce in a separate bowl and a ladle for people to add to their bowls. Serve with fresh lime wedges Garnish with cilantro.
- Serving Method 2:
- Mix the chopped vegetables in with the noodles about a cup at a time. Add more peanut sauce as required. Serve with fresh lime wedges. Garnish with cilantro.
- Refrigerate any remaining peanut sauce for up to 4 days. Serve with just udon or udon and vegetables for another cool meal.