Washington DC and New York City. For years, my husband has lead a group of 8th graders to these fine cities for a one week whirlwind tour. And yes, we have the souvenirs to prove it. It started with the typical stuff, such as I heart NY T-shirts, moved on to wine and food goodies, and then onto gorgeous detailed Christmas ornaments from Mount Vernon and other presidential collections. Trip after trip he would announce, “just one more year, then I’m handing off the trip to someone else.” That finally happened. Of course, the new leader decides it would be beneficial to have some of that second hand experience along for the journey and asked me to chaperone. So, there I was, flying across the country with the most amazing group of teens you ever did see. And, I needed to bring home some souvenirs. Shopping for the kids and hubby was actually quite fun. But I also wanted something for myself. That same self that has been the happy recipient of souvenirs from these exact same places for years.
It was time to get off the beaten path. We were in China Town, NYC. The kids had specific guidelines to stay on the main street for their shopping. So, I wandered. And I found it. A shop just like Ollivander’s Wand Shop in Harry Potter where he buys his famous wand. It was just a little slip of a store, filled with small boxes from floor to ceiling, with one helpful gentleman to guide me through the options. Chopsticks. The options were mind boggling: plastic or wood, types of wood, inlaid or painted designs, 3 sided or octagons, blunt or pointed tips, pairs or sets.
With a new set of chopsticks in hand, I headed home to California, ready for a beat the heat meal friendly to chopsticks. And No Recipes posted this cold noodle dish seemingly just for the occasion. This dish includes his noodles and dressing with toppings that just sounded good to me at the time. Enjoy!
Cold Noodle Salad with Fresh Vegetables
16 oz fresh ramen or chow mien noodles
2 scallions, finely sliced
1/2 English cucumber, sliced into 3 inch by 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup shredded imitation crab
1/2 cup snow peas, julienned
2 crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
3 TBS rice vinegar
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS toasted sesame seeds
1 TBS sugar
1. Prepare dressing by mixing sesame oil, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce, toasted sesame seeds and sugar in a small mixing bowl.
1. Cook noodles according to directions. Rinse with cool water and drain well. Add to dressing and mix until noodles are evenly coated.
3. Portion noodles into serving dishes and top with crab and vegetables.
- This was both yummy and fun. Yummy because each person can choose their own toppings. Fun because we used the new chopsticks!
- The original recipe called for an egg component that was fun to make, but the texture matched the noodles to much for my taste. While I omitted the eggs in the end, you may find them enjoyable in your version.
- Fresh noodles are best here. Do not use the ramen noodles from those little soup packages.
- If you have some noodles around, this is a great summer time “clean out the fridge” or “finish up the farmer’s market purchases” type of meal.
- Did I mention the yummy part? I made a decent sized batch, and the leftovers disappeared quickly. Always a good sign!