I think I'm finally over my fear of strange produce at the Chinese markets by our house. When we first moved here everything was so new and foreign that I needed to at least have my food be normal. I would only buy familiar produce like lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, sweet potatoes, rice, apples, bananas, oranges, etc. As life here in China has started to calm down and feel more natural, I'm finally building up the courage to experiment with new-to-me produce.
And what do you know! I've discovered some new favorite foods. Wood ear mushrooms are now my absolute favorite mushrooms, followed closely behind by oyster mushrooms. Pomelo is a delicious and massive citrus fruit that I could eat in an entire sitting. Seaweed noodles and dried tofu are also some favorites of mine. Additionally, Celtuce or Asparagus Lettuce (or wosun in Chinese!) has also worked its way up my favorite foods lists.
If you've never heard of Celtuce, you're in luck! Celtuce is a vibrant green, sweet and crispy vegetable that can be eaten raw, although it's often stir-fried here in China. I peeled and julienne some Celtuce to include in this Cold Chinese Noodle Salad and it adds the perfect amount of fresh, crispness to the dish. I hope you get your hands on some in the states to give this Cold Chinese Noodle Salad a try! But, if you can't find any Celtuce, still give this recipe a try. Just swap it out with more julienned carrots or daikon radish, or any other vegetables that you love. Get creative and use what's available to you!
One of the things I love most about this recipe is that it tastes better and better the longer it sits in the fridge. So if you need a recipe to prep for the week, this Cold Chinese Noodle Salad is an awesome option. The dressing of soy sauce and rice vinegar just continues to soak into the noodles and veggies, giving you so much flavor in every bite!
You can easily adapt this recipe as well. Use whatever noodles you have on hand and swap out the carrot and celtuce for some of your other favorite veggies if you want. Let me know if you give this recipe a shot! Leave a comment below or take a picture and tag #theconscientiouseater on Instagram!
- 16 oz. buckwheat noodles, cooked*
- 2 carrots, shredded (~2 cups)
- 2 celtuce roots, julienned
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce (or tamari)
- juice of 1 small lime
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- OPTIONAL GARNISH:
- 2 tablespoons peanuts, finely chopped
- Green onion
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and then dump them into a large bowl. Add in the carrots and celtuce root.
- While the noodles are cooking, whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce. Pour the sauce over top of the noodles and vegetables and toss well.
- Place the salad in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld. Serve cold with optional garnishes!
*Make sure you're noodles are gluten-free if making this gluten-free.
*Use Tamari instead of soy sauce if gluten free.
This salad gets better the longer it sits in the fridge. It lasts a few days!