This simple asparagus noodle salad recipe with Asian flavors highlighting seasonal vegetables is ready to eat in about 15 minutes. Plus, it can be served warm or cold, making it a perfect option for picnics, BBQ's, and potlucks.
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I'm a big fan of Asian noodle salads when the warm weather hits. They're just so good alone or with grilled meats. One day I might serve this (slightly) spicy noodle salad alongside grilled chicken thighs with a teriyaki glaze (using my version of an easy teriyaki sauce that's simple - no need to buy the expensive bottled stuff), which is one of my favorite combinations ever.
On another day I'll thread some marinate some chicken in this 2-ingredient sauce, thread them onto kabobs to grill and whip up this quick salad - and that will be my favorite combination, ha!
But here's the thing with this salad - it's just as good warm as it is cold. Served warm on it's own or with some chopped rotisserie chicken mixed in and it's a one-dish dinner ready in minutes. It's great the next day, too, making it a wonderful make-ahead recipe to bring to potlucks and BBQs.
I also love that this salad easily adapts to seasonal cooking. It's equally fantastic made with:
- The asparagus and carrots pictured.
- Green beans and red peppers for a later summer version.
- Broccoli and cauliflower for a fall/winter version.
- Whatever long noodle you have in your pantry - buckwheat soba, chuka soba, Chinese wheat noodles, or regular spaghetti noodles. I will say that I don't find it as good with rice noodles, so if you're wanting gluten free, I'd go with buckwheat soba noodles (though try any noodle and see what you think!).
Asian Asparagus Noodle Salad
For this simple asparagus noodle salad recipe you'll need:
- sesame seeds
- noodles of choice
- the easy-to-make dressing
The beauty of this recipe is that you cook the asparagus (or green beans, or broccoli and cauliflower for the later-season vegetable options) right in with the pasta during the last few minutes of cooking.
This means that while the noodles are cooking, you can mix together the dressing ingredients and chop the onions and carrots so everything will be ready to toss together when the noodles are done. It's truly a 10-15 minute recipe - I love the ease of these kind of salads, don't you?
I like to serve noodle salads on a platter to show off all the lovely colors. The vegetables don't all go to the bottom of the bowl, either, so I find it's easier to serve, too.
Here's a white oval dish similar to the dish pictured, and here is a square platter or an oval platter that would be perfect for serving. (By the way, that oval platter comes with a vegetable bowl and it's a fantastic price for the set - and bone china, too.)
Is this a main dish or a side?
Either! If you're vegetarian, this could be a main dish on it's own or with a protein added in the form of tofu or garbanzo beans. We mainly serve this as a side dish with grilled or baked chicken, fish, or pork.
What to serve with this?
- Soy-Sriracha Marinated Chicken would be perfect.
- Chicken-Lime Lettuce Wraps adds some protein with more veggies in another quick recipe.
- Baked Chicken and Vegetables - add different vegetables so that they're not the same as the salad (onions and peppers would be a good option).
Asian Asparagus Noodle Salad (or Other Seasonal Vegetables)
- 1 pound asparagus spears green beans, broccoli or other seasonal vegetable, trimmed
- 1/2 pound noodles spaghetti, soba, etc.
- 3 carrots peeled and sliced
- 6 green onions sliced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey or sugar
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce or red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- sesame seeds and chopped parsley for garnish
- Boil noodles in a large pot of salted water. Set the timer for 2 minutes before they will be done.
- While the noodles are cooking, slice the asparagus spears diagonally into 1-inch pieces and place in a bowl or separate cutting board. Trim and slice the carrots and onions, keeping them in another bowl or cutting board.
- Make the dressing: Combine the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and Sriracha or red pepper flakes in a small 1-cup measure. Whisk in the sesame and vegetable oils until all ingredients are combined.
- Add the asparagus spears to the boiling noodles when the timer goes off, and cook for the remaining 2 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water.
- Return noodles and asparagus to the pot for mixing (or a serving bowl). Add the carrots and onions and pour the dressing over all. Mix well.
- Place salad on a platter (or leave in serving bowl), and garnish with the sesame seeds and chopped parsley.
- Serve immediately or can be made ahead and refrigerated a few hours up to 24 hours.
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published June 2009.
Other Simple Salads to Try:
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