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Fragrant Chinese Pasta Salad

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Crispy, crunchy, and so refreshing, this Fragrant Chinese Pasta Salad is perfect for any potluck or picnic on your calendar! This easy deli salad recipe is packed with flavor and plenty of crunch, and includes mushrooms, rice noodles, and so much more. You'll love having this easy deli salad recipe at your fingertips the next time you need to make a side dish for a crowd. If you'd like, you can even bring this salad to work for a full and hearty lunch that's a shakeup from the routine. Once you make this recipe, you'll want to make it again and again.

Red bell pepper and bright blanched greens give this salad a dash of color. For additional flavorful crunch, add a cup of blanched mung bean sprouts.

Serves6

CostInexpensive

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Occasional Fresco, Buffet, Buffet Meal, Card Night, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together, Graduation, Picnic, Tailgate Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureCrunchy, Savory, Umami

Type of DishMain Course Salad, Salad

Ingredients

  • Salad
  • ½ cup gluten, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • Oil for deep-frying
  • 8 cups boiling water (4 cups for rinsing seitan, 4 cups for cooking greens)
  • 2 fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups finely chopped greens (kale, collard or mustard greens, or broccoli rabe)
  • 17-ounce package Chinese rice noodles
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced very thin
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons natural soy sauce
  • 2 slices fresh ginger, 1/8 inch thick
  •  
  • Dressing
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup white miso
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1½ teaspoons toasted (dark) sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a 3- or 4-quart saucepan. Deep-fry the gluten slices until they are golden and crispy. Transfer the slices to a colander and rinse with 4 cups of boiling water to remove any excess oil. Squeeze the slices firmly, then cut them into ¼-inch strips. Set aside.

  2. Next, prepare the dressing. Using a fork or spoon, mix the water and miso together in a small saucepan until smooth. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and combine well. Heat over medium heat. Just before the mixture begins to boil, remove the pan from the heat.

  3. Remove and discard the woody stem from each shiitake mushroom and cut the caps into 1/8-inch slices. (If using the dried variety, you must first reconstitute them. Simply soak the mushrooms in ½ cup warm water for about 20 minutes.) Set the slices aside.

  4. Plunge the greens into the remaining boiling water for 3 minutes, then into cold water. Drain and squeeze the greens to remove excess water, then set aside.

  5. Boil the rice noodles until they are just tender. Drain them immediately, then rinse briefly with cold water.

  6. To make the Seasoning Broth, combine the water, soy sauce, and ginger slices in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the seitan and mushrooms, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently for even coating. Continue to simmer until no liquid remains. Remove the ginger slices.

  7. Add the seitan-mushroom mixture to the noodles. Also add the cooked greens, bell pepper, and dressing. Lightly toss and serve.

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@rukahn27 Thanks for reaching out! Wheat gluten as an ingredient is also called seitan, and it's often used in recipes as a vegetarian and soy-free meat substitute. It's made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which can then be cooked in various ways. You can get it at natural health food stores but also in some mainstream supermarkets. Hope this is helpful! All best, Kara Rota Editorial Director

What is "gluten" as a separate ingredient? I think of it as an element in, e.g. flour, bread, cake.

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