This easy salad is super-delicious and virtually fat free! Asian-style wheat noodles - or fettuccini pasta noodles - are tossed in an array of fresh vegetables, shrimp, and herbs for the best pasta salad you'll have all summer. The oil-free dressing is extremely tasty, bursting with the quintessential tastes of Thai cooking. Make the full recipe and keep in the refrigerator to enjoy anytime, whether for a quick and easy lunch, or for a refreshing summer dinner.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Yield: SERVES 2-3 as a Main Entree
- 10 - 12 oz. (400-450 g) fresh Asian-style noodles OR fettuccine-style noodles
- 1 cup small cooked shrimp, thawed and drained if frozen
- 1 zucchini, grated with a wide grater or peeled into thin strips with a vegetable peeler
- 1 tomato, cut into small pieces
- 1 red or green chili, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, de-seeded and cut into strips
- 3 spring (green) onions, sliced
- 1 cup fresh coriander/cilantro, lightly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, lightly chopped
- 1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts or cashews, unsalted, and left whole or lightly chopped
- SALAD DRESSING:
- 1/3 cup lime juice (about 2 limes, juiced)
- 4 Tbsp. fish sauce (available at Asian/Chinese stores)
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2-3 tsp. sugar (adjust to taste)
- 1-3 tsp. chili sauce OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper OR crushed chili (adjust to taste)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Prepare noodles according to the directions on the package - you want them 'al dente'. Rinse noodles with cold water, drain, and set aside.
- Prepare salad dressing by mixing all dressing ingredients together in a cup or small bowl until sugar dissolves. Taste-test for sour/sweetness, adding more sugar as desired. Note that the taste of the dressing will be very "zing-y" at this point because of the lime juice - it will taste milder when distributed among the noodles.
- Prepare the vegetables and shrimp, and place them in a very large salad or mixing bowl. Add the herbs and nuts too. Stir the dressing once more and pour over, tossing well to mix.
- Now add the noodles and toss again (note: This salad requires a lot of tossing to distribute the dressing, vegetables, herbs, shrimp and peanuts throughout the noodles). Once well-tossed, taste-test the noodles, adding more fish sauce if not salty or tasty enough.
- You can serve this salad immediately, or cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to eat (this salad will keep for up to 3 days, and makes great workday lunches!). Serve right out of the bowl, or lift and place onto a serving platter or individual bowls. Garnish with a few extra sprigs of the fresh herbs, plus some chopped peanuts. For those who like it extra spicy, Thai chili sauce can be served on the side, either store-bought or my own homemade Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce Recipe. ENJOY!