I am not a huge peanut butter fan. I know I am in the minority here but something about it just does not excite me. I will eat it, but like I said, it is not my favorite. What I do get excited about is a great tasting dinner that does not leave you with a heavy feeling in your stomach after you eat it. After the holiday weekend, I wanted to make something lighter and filled with fresh vegetables. Enter this Asian Noodle Salad. There is peanut butter in this recipe but it is just a minor ingredient. The complexity of the different ingredients in this salad make it something really special. I love the coolness of the cilantro and the zing of the lime against the crunch of the peanuts and crisp vegetables.
This recipe makes enough for about 8-10 servings so be prepared for a lot. You could cut the recipe in half or make the full recipe and have leftovers. I told Alex I know what he is having for lunch tomorrow… and the next day! I use steak here but you could use chicken or even tofu. This can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the meat. I promise, there is enough flavor without it.
ASIAN NOODLE SALAD
1 pound of linguine
1 pound of sirloin steak, cooked and cut into slices 1 head of napa cabbage, shredded 3 carrots, shredded 1/4 cup of cilantro, fresh, torn into piece 2 bell peppers, one red and one yellow, diced
3 sprigs of green onion 1/3 Cup of smooth peanut butter 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil 1 Tablespoon chili sauce (I use Sriracha)
1 inch of fresh ginger, minces 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch of cilantro, cut into large pieces
peanuts, for garnishing limes, for garnishing
Prepare sirloin to your liking (I seared on the stove for a few minutes on each side), cover, and let rest while you prepare the rest of the salad. In a large pot of boiling water, cook linguine until it is al dente (about 9 minutes) and drain. Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, combine peanut butter, vegetable oil, chili sauce, garlic, and ginger. Mix until smooth. Add linguine to the sauce while it is still warm so that it absorbs the sauce.
To a large bowl, add cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, green onions, and cilantro. Add the sauce-coated linguine to the vegetables. Cut the sirloin into thin slices and add to the salad. Toss everything together.
Add the peanuts to each plate as you serve so they do not get soggy while it sits. You want them to crunch when you take a bite. This salad can be served hot or cold. Serve with lime wedges and the option of more Sriracha if you need more of a kick!