Today is my mom's birthday! Besides being a wonderful mother, she taught me most of what I know about food and cooking, particularly Indian cuisine. Not only does she do great renditions of all the classics, but she is always trying new recipes, expanding her repertoire and doing all kinds of creative (and beautiful) experiments in her kitchen! Her "spring burst peanutty mung salad", a gorgeous and colorful blend of mung bean sprouts, rice stick noodles, crunchy veggies, sesame seeds and peanuts in a spicy peanut dressing, is the perfect example. Mom says that she was inspired by summer rolls or spring rolls made with rice paper and decided to make a salad version. She just sent me this recipe today, and I can't wait to make it myself...or better yet to go home and have her make it for us!
The funny thing about the peanut dressing that Mom created for this salad is that it's very similar to the sauce in my noodles with tofu and spicy peanut sauce that I posted just yesterday. This wasn't planned at all...just proof that great minds think alike, especially mother-daughter great minds!
Happy birthday Mom...I can't wait to try this!
SPRING BURST PEANUTTY MUNG SALAD
Makes 4 servings
For the salad
1 cup rice stick noodles
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped fine
1/2 cup red cabbage, chopped fine
1/2 cup carrots, grated or chopped fine
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped coarsely
For the dressing
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup (or to taste) brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons (or to taste) chili flakes or chili paste
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1. In order to cook the rice stick noodles, boil enough water to submerge them. Add the rice stick noodles to the boiling water and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and cool. Once cooled, crush the noodles with your hand to break them into small pieces or cut them with a knife. Set aside.
3. Add the sesame seeds to a small pan. Heat the pan on a medium low flame and keep stirring frequently until the seeds are a light golden color and smell good.
4. Mix the rice stick noodles, mung bean sprouts, and all other salad ingredients except for the sesame seeds and peanuts in a large bowl. Set aside.
5. To make the dressing, add all the dressing ingredients to a small pan, stir everything together and heat over low heat. Keep stirring. When the mixture gets a little thicker, take it off of the heat and let it cool for a while. Once cooled, grind it in a blender in order to make a smooth dressing.
6. If you plan to eat this right away, pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and peanuts on top and serve. If you plan to have it later (rather if you can resist not attacking it right away!!!), keep the salad and the dressing separate and mix just before serving or have your guests mix their own so as to avoid sogginess.