Southeast Asian-Flavored Cold Noodles with Tempeh

This spicy, nutty salad is an amalgam of Indonesian and Thai-influenced ingredients and seasonings.

Serves: 6 to 8

Tempeh croutons:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon natural soy sauce or tamari
  • One 8-ounce package tempeh, diced
  • Pinch chili powder

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup natural-style or reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar or Sucanat
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons natural soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 cup hot water 8 ounces soba or udon noodles (or substitute linguine)
  • 8 ounces fresh mung bean sprouts
  •  3 scallions, sliced
  • l/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped peanuts, optional

Slowly heat the oil and soy sauce together in a wide skillet. Add the tempeh and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until nicely browned and crisp. Sprinkle lightly with chili powder, and remove from the heat.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk together. Set aside.

Cook the noodles in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cool water, then drain well again.

Meanwhile, steam the sprouts in a large saucepan with about l/2 inch of water until they are just wilted. Drain and rinse under cool water, then drain well again.

Combine the noodles and sprouts in a large serving bowl. Add the tempeh, scallions, cilantro, and peanuts, if desired. Pour in the dressing, toss well, and serve.

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