I have been craving this salad for some time now. I have seen various versions of it in cookbooks, but the peanut dressing recipes I have seen have not appealed to me. I finally got my peanut sauce down and could not wait to make the noodle salad. I like linguini for this recipe, but regular spaghetti or fettuccini noodles would work fine as well. In the summer, I would probably replace the baby corn with fresh corn, but canned baby corn works fine in the winter. I made a generous chiffonade of mint and cilantro and basil, I needed lots of green in my salad. To make a chiffonade, roll your herbs as if you were rolling a cigar then with a sharp knife slice the "cigar".
Toss a little sesame or vegetable oil (a teaspoon or less), into the noodles after they drain, it will keep them from clumping together. Shredded rotisserie chicken would be a great addition to add some protein. I also seasoned them at the table with Siracha sauce- I like spicy. When thinning the peanut sauce for the noodles, add the water a little at a time until it's the consistency of honey.
This past weekend I went to the farmers market and found the most beautiful purple carrots, I used them here. Almost any vegetable will work well in this salad, other good additions are celery, zuchinni, squash, broccoli and spinach. I like slicing the vegetables in different shapes to add texture.
Asian Noodle Salad with Spicy peanut Sauce
1 lb. linguini, cooked al dente in salted water
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
2 carrots (I used orange and purple), julienned
1 can water chestnuts, sliced
1 cup canned baby corn
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup mixed herbs (basil, cilantro, and mint) chopped (read about chiffonade above)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 recipe peanut sauce found here
1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts for sprinkling on top
1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk 2 cups peanut sauce with up to 3 tablespoons of water to thin it out a little bit. Add peanut sauce to noodles and vegetables and toss together until evenly coated. Garnish with chopped peanuts and herbs. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.