ASIAN NOODLE SALAD

A lovely recipe to share, and a story to tell:
Recently, my Best Friend and I went out to lunch.  We had a day of wondering through Antique Stores, Second Hand Vintage Stores, and her fave, gem stores looking for stones so she could make jewelry.  It was a fun day, a day we do not get to share very often with our busy schedules.
I had previously looked online for Gluten Free Restaurants in town - don't get there too often so I was quite surprised to realize there were so many.  A future post down the road.
We settled on a Restaurant called the Noodle House.  We were both starving by that point, and honestly, both going down hill fast, with low blood sugar levels.  Our own faults.  My BF ordered a chicken Curry noodle dish, and I ordered the Curry Seafood Noodle dish. They came in these containers, loaded with veggies, meat/seafood/and then a soupy consistency at the bottom.  Pure Deliciousness.
Okay, here we go.  When I ordered the dish, I asked the waitress, "is this dish hot?"  She replied "Oh no, this is very mild, not hot at all".  I thought great - starving - need to fill my tummy. Let's have it!  As soon as possible please.
Well....I have mentioned before that myself and DH are wimps when it comes to heat.  I actually like a little bit of heat, truly I do.  But this, Wholly Mamma!!!!!  I was so starving, I kept eating it...I was on fire, I broke out into a sweat, I needed Kleenex Tissue, I needed water, yogurt anything to cool down the heat, I needed - sorry - some more deodorant, I needed help fast!  Did I stop eating?  Did I send it back?  Ohhh no.  I kept eating, and kept eating until it was all gone.  At one point my best friend looked at me and said "Oh my G.." You are bright red!!!"  I still kept eating. I was hoovering. I was mowing down.
Enough said.  Except for one thing.  By the time I got home, sorry everyone, I was running to the bathroom.  Clearly, I can't do excessive spice.  It was dang delicious, I was starving:  No matter how starving I am....do not consume excessive spice.  Hence this recipe was born, and a lesson learned.  (p.s - use any kind of heat at your discretion)
What I love most about this dish is it is sooo versatile.  We had it with Beef Strip Steak.  It would be wonderful with Chicken, or Prawns, or a Vegetarian Dish using Tempeh.  In terms of the dressing - there is a lot you can do.  Minced fresh ginger, dried red pepper flakes, Thai curry paste to name a few.  Change this up to any way you want it - so good!
Asian Styled Dressing:
Juice of 1 fresh lime
1 minced garlic clove
1 Tblsp. Rice Vinegar
1 Tblsp. Tamari Sauce
1 Tblsp. Fish Sauce
1 Tblsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
Mix well in a jar and use for any Asian Styled Seafood dish, or Chicken or Beef Dish.  Optional:  fresh minced ginger, honey, red pepper flakes, or Thai curry paste.
Recipe Ingredients:
Tinkyada White Rice Pasta - 8 ounces dry pasta, split in half - not whole
Olive Oil
1 medium or large steak - quick fry, set aside then sliced against the grain
1/2 cup of diced red pepper
1 large sliced scallion
3 minced garlic cloves
2 sliced green onions
Handful of fresh Cilantro, stems included, reserving some for a garnish
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Salt and Pepper
For the pasta, I grabbed a large handful of pasta, and bit by bit, broke it in half, enough to weigh about 8-10 ounces.  Cook as per directions, in salted water, about 14 - 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, mix up all the dressing ingredients and set aside.
Heat up a frying pan, medium high heat, with a good drizzle of olive oil.
Season the steak with salt and pepper, and fry till medium rare.  My steaks were super thin, so only needed about 4-5 minutes in total.  Transfer to a plate and set aside to rest.

Turn the heat down to low and add in the chopped red pepper, sliced shallot, minced garlic, and the handful of chopped Cilantro and stem, stirring until  the shallot is translucent, and the sauteing is smelling fragrant.

Once the pasta is cooked, using a pasta ladle, transfer to the frying pan. Pour in the dressing, tossing well, and scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan
Slice the steak against the grain, adding in to the pasta, tossing well to combine.  Sprinkle with the rest of the Cilantro and chopped green onion, then add a sprinkling of Toasted Sesame Seeds.  Serve cold or warm.

Ina Gawne
author

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