Zita Steyn’s Warm Black Rice Noodle Salad

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This is a subtle, comforting dish, best served still slightly warm.

If you are having this as a main course, add some cooked mung beans or other protein of your choice and perhaps a few halved cherry tomatoes for colour

• 80g black rice noodles
• untoasted sesame oil, or extra virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon rapeseed oil, or other neutral-tasting cooking oil
• 1 echalion shallot, chopped into small dice
• 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon see method for ingredients
• 300g pak choy or tatsoi, stalks finely chopped and leaves torn into smaller pieces
• 100g see method for ingredients, or peas
• 1-2 spring onions, white and green part, nely sliced on the diagonal
• 80g mange tout, trimmed and any strings removed
• 1 thin yellow or green courgette, finely sliced on the diagonal using a mandolin or vegetable swivel peeler
• sea salt

For the dressing:
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 3 tablespoons untoasted sesame oil
• 1 1/2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder or paste, to taste
• 1-1 1/2 tablespoons tamari or shoyu

1 Cook the rice noodles until al dente, according to the packet instructions, then drain, rinse well and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Toss to coat with a little untoasted sesame or olive oil (to prevent the noodles from sticking together) and a pinch of salt, and set aside.
2 Heat the rapeseed oil in a pan and fry the shallot with a pinch of salt over a medium-high heat for a few minutes or until soft, stirring regularly to avoid burning (some browning is „fine).
3 Add the garlic and „ve-spice powder and cook for another couple of minutes before adding the pak choy stems. At this point you may want to add some water to deglaze the pan and help the pak choy cook, but make sure you cook the pan dry before adding the leaves.
4 When the stems are tender, add the leaves and cook until just wilted, for about 30 seconds. Scrape into the bowl with the noodles, then add the remaining salad ingredients to the bowl.
5 Combine all the dressing ingredients, with salt to taste, in a jar, screw on the lid and give it a good shake.
6 Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary – the dressing should taste very intense, as its Šflavour is diluted once added to the salad. Dress the salad and gently toss to coat.

Recipe courtesy of Zita Steyn, extracted from Good Better Green


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