It should come as no surprise: Davis has a strong Asian community, with over 10,000 of the some 60,000 residents identifying themselves as such in the city’s census. This kind of cultural diversity benefits everyone — what better way to learn and experience other cultures without expensive travel? The most basic common denominator of all people — silly as it may sound — is food. Open yourself to new cultures (or, in some cases, bring the familiar taste of home to your table) in this fundamental way by making dishes like this Asian Cold Noodle Salad.
Salad or not, this Asian Cold Noodle Salad is filling enough for a meal. As typical of Asian dishes, the ingredients are wonderfully fresh. Of course, this is nowhere near as raw as sushi or sashimi, yet it still supplies plenty of crisp, crunchy components to contrast with the soft noodles. In addition to the vegetables, this salad includes egg for some much-needed protein.
To make this introduction to Asian flavors simpler, the ingredients remain recognizable, as well as amazingly cost-effective. Beyond the vegetables and egg, this dish is also made with ramen noodles, and what college student is unfamiliar with packaged ramen?
This recipe is perfect for warm weather — most ramen noodle dishes are served hot, so this preparation is rather fun and atypical. As an added perk, this Asian Cold Noodle Salad can be prepared early and refrigerated; also, as a chilled dish, the leftovers do not lost their flavor. Of course, that is assuming you have any leftovers — embark on a gustatory trip to Asia, and enjoy this Asian Cold Noodle Salad!
- 4 packages of ramen noodles
- 1/2 cucumber, finely julienned
- 1 yellow bell pepper, finely julienned
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp ginger, crushed
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill in refrigerator until needed.
Whisk the four eggs in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a small non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Pour the egg into the pan, and allow it to slowly cook in a thin layer. Shift the wet yolk with a spatula as needed to settle to the bottom of the pan for even cooking. Check the bottom of the omelet periodically; if the bottom has browned and the top needs to cook longer, flip with a spatula. When both sides are golden-brown, the omelet is finished. Set aside to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, finely julienne the omelet.
Cook ramen noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, rinse with cold water in a colander.
Divide noodles amongst four bowls. Distribute the cucumber, carrot, bell pepper and egg evenly. Top with chopped peanuts. Drizzle noodle salad with dressing to taste. Stir to combine, and enjoy.