Monday, April 27, 2009

udon and vegetable salad

  • udon noodles
  • snap peas
  • broccoli florets
  • baby corn
  • shredded cabbage
  • 1 large yellow pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large orange pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • green onion, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon mirin
  • 1/2 lemon

Combine juice of lemon, with mirin, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil. Mix well, set aside. Cook udon noodles (available in the Asian section of the supermarket) according to package. Drain cooked noodles and rinse with cool water and combine with vegetables and dressing. Serve cool.

The dish: Successful cooking begins with keen shopping and a well stocked pantry. If you want to cook your own Asian dishes you first have to build your Asian pantry. I suggest starting with keeping these basics on hand:

  • a good quality light soy sauce
  • sesame oil (if adding to anything hot, put it in at the last minute as it's a very delicate oil)
  • wok oil (flavorless oil with a high smoke point)
  • rice vinegar

Don't be afraid to keep these on hand as they will keep forever and your Asian dishes will improve so much that you'll use them often. If you'd like to branch out from there, I suggest:

  • mirin (sweetened sake- use sparingly as it's 8% alcohol)
  • Chinese 5 spice (never use more than a tiny pinch)
  • black sesame seeds

Keeping this stuff on hand will open you up to a whole new selection of dishes that you can easily prepare. I've had great luck with the sushi chef and house of Tsang brands, and both are available in most supermarkets.

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