I've had Asian Noodle Salad in various incarnations and I've always loved them. Flavourful, texture-rich, light yet filling.
This version, as per usual, uses whatever ingredients are handy. Minced meat are a staple in my freezer as they are versatile. I find that minced pork is best when infused with Asian seasoning.
As with any household with young children, 6-8PM in our house are the witching hours. Toddler, tired from an afternoon of acrobatics and bub, fed up from taking too many new experiences in tend to have a short fuse at this time. So, dinner has to be planned, organised and be at the table by 6 to avoid any major tantrums (from me, that is).
I made this dish in separate stages:
2PM-while the kids were down for a nap
I heated up some oil and browned 300g of pork mince. To this I added 3 Tbsp of peanuts, ground into chunks.I seasoned with 1Tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp of brown sugar. This went in the fridge until ready to use.
4PM-while L watches Peppa Pig and A enjoys some tummy time
I soaked 250g of glass noodles (Chinese vermicelli) as per packet instructions.
Salad dressing was prepared by mixing 1Tbsp lime juice, 1/2tsp tamarind paste, 1Tbsp brown sugar, 2Tsp soy sauce and a splash of sesame oil and fish sauce.
Oh, and I added 1/4tsp mint sauce (Coleman's, as in Mr. Roast Lamb's sidekick). This may seem unusual in an Asian dressing but I had to be resourceful. My potted mint is not faring so well in the cold weather and I still wanted that fresh flavour even if I can't have the leaves in the salad.
5.45PM-while hubby has a 'welcome home' tickle fight with the bubs
Toss the prepared mince, noodles and salad dressing along with 2cups of baby salad greens and carrot matchsticks. I would have added lots of coriander leaves and spring onion if I had any :-(
6PM-Voila! Dinner is served.
Variations I have done in the past for this:
Sauteed the mince in 5-spice instead of seasoning with soy.
Sauteed the mince in ginger,lemon grass and added lime leaves.
I used other crunchy vegies like snow peas, young corn and red capsicum in the salad.