20150706_185417It’s hot here, too hot to cook. Earlier this year a friend linked an Asian Noodle Salad from Pioneer Woman Cooks, so this seemed a great time to make it. I’m not going to try and copy her excellent blog, so I’ll throw you some pictures and notes. This is a really forgiving recipe with three parts: The pasta, vegetables and sauce.

The sauce is what makes this a marvelous Asian salad instead of any other kind of pasta salad. I would grate the ginger instead of chopping, and I think next time I’ll make the sauce in advance so it has time to mature and get really flavorful.

Chopped veggies and the sauce, waiting for pasta.

You could throw just about any vegetable that can be eaten raw in here. I think the must-haves are Napa cabbage and Cilantro. I did spinach, Napa cabbage, celery, green onions, cilantro, and bell peppers. Tomato and cucumber would also be great! It made a huge amount, so I chopped leftover chicken into the remainder and made it into lunches.

The vegetarian version, served as a dinner side.

The only cooking you have to do is making the pasta. I boiled a pound of plain ol’ spaghetti noodles, drained them, and rinsed them in cold water until they were cold. Get your hands in there and toss the pasta when you rinse and it’ll go faster. If you wanted to skip cooking altogether you could probably use pre-cooked Yaki Soba noodles found in the refrigerated produce section of your grocery store. I use those in my Lo Mein recipe, but frankly spaghetti is more affordable if you’re on a budget.