Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crunchy Noodle Salad

Photo by Steve Shanahan

First published Canberra Times 16 February 2011

Over the summer months when we’re invited to barbecues and parties, I generally offer to contribute by bringing a plate. This noodle salad is always such a hit with family and friends, that my offer is generally met with a less than subtle hint. Okay noodle salad it is! This suits me because it’s such a snack to prepare, although almost always, somebody asks for the recipe, and almost always I feel embarrassed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really tasty, but I thought the secret was out and everyone knew the recipe by now, because it’s actually written on the back of the Chang’s Crunchy Noodle packet.

Photo by Steve Shanahan

It’s especially good as a side salad with barbecued meats, or it can make a complete meal by adding about 300g of shredded chicken, or my favourite Chinese roast duck or barbecued pork. Kids generally love it too.

The salad doesn’t keep its crunch long after the noodles are added. So if you are transporting the salad and not serving it straight away, combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl, leaving the noodles unopened in the bag and pre-mix the dressing in a well sealed jar, ready to add at the last moment.

I change this recipe slightly to add any chopped herbs you have on hand such as, coriander, parsley or mint. You can also add pomegranate seeds or fruit pieces for colour and sweetness.

Serves 8

1 Chinese cabbage (wom bok) shredded finely
8 shallots, chopped including much of the green stalk
100g lightly roasted slivered almonds or pinenuts
100g packet of Chang’s Fried Noodles
1 red capsicum, sliced finely
6 shitake mushrooms, finely sliced
300g roasted and chopped chicken, duck or pork


¼ cup of white vinegar
¼ cup castor sugar (less to taste)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Combine the cabbage, shallots, mushrooms, capsicum and almonds in a large salad bowl. Just before serving add the dressing and mix well, then add the noodles, mixing thoroughly. I usually serve the meat on the side, reserving a little of the salad dressing as a dipping sauce. Garnish with red chilli.