Hearty udon noodles are an appealing backdrop for crisp, colorful vegetables. Full of veggies that need only a little prep but no cooking, this is a tasty, colorful dish for lunch or dinner, served at room temperature.
This cold dish is equally good flavored hoisin, teriyaki, or Korean BBQ sauce. Look for these sauces in the Asian foods section of supermarkets. You might find udon noodles there too, but if not, you’ll surely find them in natural foods stores, Asian market, and online sources.
Imported udon are most often sold in cellophane-wrapped 8-ounce packages. They cook as you would any kind of pasta — in plenty of rapidly simmering water, until al dente. They take about 5 to 7 minutes to cook; it’s best to follow package directions for specific recommendations.
Udon noodle substitutes: Though udon have a luscious mouth feel in this room temperature dish, feel free to to swap in wide Chinese wheat noodles, soba, or ordinary linguine. Asian rice noodles are a good gluten-free option.
Complete the meal: Serve with your favorite tofu or tempeh dish with this udon noodle salad for an appealing, light meal. Suggestions— Sweet and Savory Tempeh Strips or Peanut Satay Golden Tofu Triangles. Recipe adapted from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons agave or natural granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup hoisin, teriyaki, or Korean BBQ sauce or more, to taste
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 8 ounces udon noodles, Chinese wheat noodles, other Asian noodles, or linguine
- 1 baby bok choy or 3 large stalks bok choy, sliced on the diagonal
- 15-ounce can baby corn, drained, a little liquid reserved
- 8 to 10 baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
- 2 cups or so snow peas or snap peas, trimmed
- 2 to 3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts or toasted cashews for topping, optional
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and stir together. Set aside.
- Cook the noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cool water, then drain well again.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients except the nuts in a large serving bowl. Add the cooked noodles and dressing, and toss well. If the mixture needs a bit more moisture, drizzle in a small amount of the reserved liquid from the baby corn.
- Taste to add more of the sauce you’ve used. Serve at once, at room temperature. Pass around chopped nuts for topping individual portions, if you’d like.
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