Sweet Potato Starch Noodle, Spinach,

I’ve always really loved bean thread and sweet potato noodles, both hot and cold. Here they are part of a light and lively salad with some Japanese flair.

It did have the usual problem with salads; a little of this, and a little of that, and then there was enough to feed an army. This is not a salad that keeps well, either, what with the bean sprouts. If you want to stretch the salad out over a couple of days, just put bean sprouts in the portion you expect to eat. The rest should hold for a day in the fridge.

On the other hand though, Mr Ferdzy performed heroically and in spite of the mounds of salad produced (not all of it shown below) we had very little left. It is the sort of thing you can eat quite a lot of, and still feel okay about yourself.

4 to 6 servings
45 minutes prep time

Make the Salad:
1 medium carrot
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
2 – 3 green onions
1/4 teaspoon salt
200 grams (1/2 pound; 1 bundle) sweet potato starch noodles
8 packed cups raw spinach
2 cups bean sprouts

Peel and grate the carrot. Wash, trim, and finely shred the cabbage. Wash and trim the green onions, then chop them finely. Mix these in a bowl, and sprinkle the salt over them. Massage it in well with your hands until the vegetables are soft. Set them aside for the moment.

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Boil the noodles according to the directions on the packet; probably for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, wash the spinach well and pick it over.  Chop it a bit and lay it in a large colander.

Drain the noodles over the spinach, wilting them thoroughly. Rinse them at once in plenty of cold water, until cool. Drain extremely well, pressing to extract all liquid (especially from the spinach). Chop the noodles and spinach until they are a good texture for your salad, and put them into a mixing bowl.

Rinse the carrot, cabbage, and green onions and drain them very well. Squeeze them to remove as much moisture as possible and mix them into the noodles and spinach. Mix in the washed and drained bean sprouts.

Dress the Salad:
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar OPTIONAL
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari OR soy sauce
freshly ground white OR black pepper to taste
2 – 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Mix the sesame oil, sugar, vinegar, tamari, and pepper, and pour over the salad. Mix well.

Toast the sesame seeds over medium heat in a small, dry skillet until lightly browned. Scrape them out as soon as they are done, onto a plate, to cool. Sprinkle them over the salad just before serving it.

Last year at this time I made Spring Salad with Honey-Yogurt Dressing.

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