Friday, September 10, 2010

Chilled Udon Noodle and Shrimp Salad with Pickled Cucumbers and Radishes

I woke up today excited about the prospect of this blog, but then I realized that I needed to get cracking on my dinner plans.  But what do I feel like eating and making?  I ask this question everyday. To me it is the most important question of the day.  My answer put me in a great mood, excited about the whole process of preparing the meal - the shopping, the cooking and, of course, the eating (it also makes the dreaded cleaning bearable).  Today I was inspired by summer's end and wanted to revive one of last year's favorite summer meals, Chilled Udon Noodle Salad, and I felt like adding shrimp tonight as the protein (I have used skirt steak, tofu and chicken in the past).

The end product, Chilled Udon Noodle and Shrimp Salad with Pickled Cucumbers and Radishes

I went to the market and bought all my ingredients.

The pickled radish and cucumber adds a nice acidity to the dish.  Since it requires a few hours to pickle, it is best to start this ahead of time.
  • 4 radishes
  • 2 small cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha 
Slice radishes and cucumbers thinly and place in a bowl.  Add the rice wine, salt, sugar, and Sriracha.  Mix together and marinate for 3-24 hours.

Chilled Udon Noodle Salad:

Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles per the package recommendation.  I normally cook the noodles 1-2 minutes less that recommended because the noodles will continue to cook once out of the water.

This is a perfect time to start on the dressing for the noodles:
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (mirin)
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate (this is optional but adds a nice tartness)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame oil (use 2 tsp now, reserve 1 tsp for later)
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 serrano pepper
Dressing for noodles

Once the noodles have cooked, drain the water, place in a plastic bowl and add the dressing.  Ensure all the noodles are coated with the dressing.  Set aside.

Veggies from the market
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 bok choy
  • 1 carrot
  • 10 asparagus
  • 10 sugar snap peas
  • 1 bunch cilantro (reserve until the end)
  • 1 bunch mint (reserve until the end)
  • 1 hand full bean sprout (reserve until the end)
Cut up the red bell pepper, bok choy, carrot, asparagus, and sugar snap peas.  Cook the veggies in the same water that the noodles cooked in, but in order to ensure each vegetable is cooked perfectly (tender but with a crunch) separate them according to cooking time.  For example bok choy stems, asparagus stems and carrots which need to cook for about 3 minutes.  Asparagus tips, red pepper and sugar snap peas need about 90 seconds, and lastly the bok choy leaves only need 30 seconds.

Veggies ready to cook, separated according to cooking time

Place the cooked veggies with the noodles and coat with 1 additional tsp of toasted sesame oil.  Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.

Noodles and veggies ready to go into the fridge

30 minutes before dinner defrost the shrimp by placing them in a bowl under cool running water.  Once the shrimp have defrosted, season them with salt, pepper, vegetable oil and a pinch of sugar to facilitate caramelization.  Heat a nonstick skillet on medium-high - when hot, add the shrimp.  Allow the shrimp to cook for 2 minutes on one side, and then turn and continue to cook for 1 minute.

When the shrimp are done, remove and set aside on a plate.  

Roughly chop cilantro, mint and the greens of scallion and mix into the noodles.  Plate the noodles and place the shrimp on top.  Garnish with the pickled cucumbers and radishes and sesame seeds. 

Chilled Udon Noodle Salad with Shrimp and Pickled Cucumbers and Radishes


  1. Love it! I added your blog to my blog list on my site. Looking forward to your posts.

  2. Hey Lisa/Sash, congrats on the new blog! I will follow your foodie relations from Spain.

  3. Thanks Eve! It was because of you we started it! Be sure to send us some amazing Spanish recipes.

  4. Fun idea for a blog girls!
    Can't wait to see all your recipes!

  5. Thanks ladies! let us know if you have any recipe requests. I am always looking to try new things in the kitchen.