Summer is waning, I’m sorry to say. Instead of a blast of already-100-degree heat on my face when I leave for work in the mornings, it’s pleasant, even cool sometimes. It’s a bittersweet time of year because although it’s nice to have a relief from the oppressive heat, I hate to see summer end. Fortunately (or not), it’s usually still quite warm to hot during the day, especially when you are cleaning raccoon enclosures. So last night’s dinner was still a welcome almost-no-cook treat.
Rice Noodle Salad
1 package rice noodles – I used wide ones, but thinner ones would work too
1 huge or 3 smaller carrots, cut on a spiralizer or julienned
1 small daikon, cut on a spiralizer or julienned
1 cucumber, cut on a spiralizer or julienned
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 small head Savoy (or about 2 cups Napa) cabbage, shredded
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup peanuts, crushed
For the dressing
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
juice of 1 lime
1 red chili pepper, minced
If you really don’t want to cook anything, soak the noodles in very hot water. I’m too impatient to do that and always boil mine for a couple of minutes. When they are al dente, drain them, rinse under cold water, and toss with some toasted sesame oil. Set aside.
Meanwhile, prep all of the vegetables. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. Then toss everything together except the peanuts and scallions. I used my hands to mix everything together before realizing that was a really stupid move considering I used a jolokia pepper in the sauce, but for some reason, it didn’t burn. (I’m not convinced what this farmer is selling to Whole Foods as jolokia peppers are really jolokias; they’re not that hot.)
Top with crushed peanuts and scallions. Serve with sriracha.
I also served tofu puffs with a sweet chili-vinegar dipping sauce. Super H sells these tofu puffs, which Mark loves:
I cut them in half and toast them in the toaster oven for one to two toast cycles to warm them up and make them slightly crispy outside:
I make a dipping sauce for them based on a recipe I got off the internet many, many years ago, back when I actually owned one of those evil appliances called a printer and used to print out recipes and store them in a huge, untamed notebook. I think I lost the printout so I can’t tell you where I got the recipe (I think a Thai recipe site) or if I’m even still making it as directed.
Sweet Chili-Vinegar Dipping Sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp chili-garlic sauce
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
pinch of salt
Whisk everything together.
Serve with the warmed tofu puffs.
Now, about those raccoons. They’re often asleep when I arrive to clean their enclosure.
You learn very quickly to NEVER put ANYTHING you don’t want mutilated within reach of a raccoon. They are extremely devious! Here is one on its back destroying a paper towel I made the mistake of putting down for half a second.
But seriously, how could you possibly be mad at this face?
Or this one?
Answer: you can’t.