After all that heavy (but insanely delicious) Pan Pizza, I desperately needed something light and fresh. I crafted this cold, Spicy Hoisin Noodle Salad with just a few items from the produce department, some leftover whole wheat spaghetti, and a simple sauce made with hoisin and sriracha.
Hoisin is kind of like a Chinese BBQ sauce. It’s sweet, tangy, and goes good with just about everything. You can add it to any meat as an instant saucy glaze (see Hoisin Beef Tacos), make a simple stir fry sauce for vegetables, or in this case, a super easy sauce to spruce up some plain noodles. It’s already thick, which makes it an effortless addition to recipes. I also stirred in a tablespoon or so of sriracha because… well.. because SRIRACHA!
Ahem. Excuse me. Sorry about that. Anyway, I bit the bullet and paid $1.99 for a red bell pepper because I knew its sweetness would be absolutely perfect for this salad (it did not disappoint). I combined that with the usual green onions (for a bit of savory), cilantro (for some fresh, bright flavor), and some unsalted peanuts (CRUNCH!). If you have extra cash and want to take this noodle salad even further, you can add something like flaked salmon, marinated tofu, shrimp, avocado, bean sprouts, or shredded carrot. Lots of options here, so have fun with it. :)
- 8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti or angel hair pasta $0.99
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce $0.24
- 1 Tbsp sriracha sauce $0.09
- 3 green onions $0.20
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro $0.45
- 1 medium red bell pepper $1.99
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame* $0.82
- ¼ cup unsalted peanuts $0.21
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil 7-10 minutes, or until al dente). Drain the pasta, rinse briefly with cold water to cool it down, then allow it to drain. Toss the pasta every few minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad to help it dry off.
- While waiting for the pasta to cook and drain, prepare the rest of the salad. Slice the green onions, pull the cilantro leaves from the stems (give them a rough chop if desired), dice the red bell pepper, allow the edamame to thaw, and roughly chop the peanuts. In a large bowl combine the green onions, cilantro, bell pepper, edamame, and peanuts.
- In a small bowl, stir together the hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce. Once the pasta is cool and relatively dry (it should feel tacky, not slippery and wet), return the pasta to the cooking pot, pour the sauce over top, and toss to coat.
- Add the sauce coated pasta to the salad bowl and toss with the vegetables until everything is well combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
*Make sure to read the instructions on your edamame carefully. Some edamame is cooked before freezing and only needs a quick thaw or a quick reheat in boiling water. If the edamame is raw, it will need to be cooked before adding to the salad. Raw edamame can cause gastric distress.
BTW, this would make an awesome side dish to Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Mayo!
Step by Step Photos
I chose whole wheat pasta for this recipe because it has more flavor and texture, which juxtaposes nicely with the vegetables. I would have liked to have used angel hair pasta, but they only had regular spaghetti at my local grocery. You could also use buckwheat pasta or soba noodles. Whichever noodle you choose, use 1/2 lb. (or 8 oz.). Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
After cooking the pasta, drain it in a colander and then rinse it with cold water briefly to cool it down. The pasta needs to drain for a while and kind of dry off, so that the sauce will stick to it. So, as you prepare the rest of the salad, toss the noodles every few minutes or so to help them dry out.
For the rest of the salad you’ll need three green onions, one medium bell pepper, 1/2 bunch cilantro, and 1 cup of frozen shelled edamame (soy beans). Take the edamame out of the freezer first so they have time to thaw, or you could microwave them briefly. *Make sure to read the instructions on your edamame carefully. Some edamame is cooked before freezing and only needs a quick thaw or a quick reheat in boiling water. If the edamame is raw, it will need to be cooked before adding to the salad. Raw edamame can cause gastric distress.*
Dice the red bell pepper, and slice the green onions. Add the bell pepper, onion, and edamame to a large salad bowl.
Pull the cilantro leaves from the stems. The easy way to do this is to grab a few sprigs of cilantro, hold them in one hand and then grab and pull the leaves out away from the end. It’s quick, easy, and pretty much does the job. You may get a few bits of stem in there, but it’s totally okay because the stems are quite tender and easy to eat. No biggy. You don’t have to sit there and pick each individual leaf from the stems. I left my cilantro leaves whole for more texture, but you can give them a rough chop if desired.
Roughly chop 1/4 cup of unsalted peanuts. These add a nice crunch and nutty flavor to the salad.
Stir together the prepared bell pepper, onion, edamame, cilantro, and peanuts.
In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup hoisin sauce and 1 Tbsp (or MORE!) sriracha.
Once the noodles are pretty dry, you can add the sauce. It’s important that the noodles are dry-ish and not wet and slippery. If they’re still wet, the sauce will slide right off and the salad will be flavorless. I stirred the noodles and sauce together in the pot that they cooked in to avoid dirtying another dish. :)
Finally, add the sauced noodles to the bowl of vegetables and stir to combine. The end!
It’s still summer! I don’t care if school has started…
It’s still hot enough outside to eat cold noodle salads for dinner.
P.S. This salad has been in my fridge for 2 days now and it’s still awesome!