By pure coincidence I've been eating a lot of red foods lately. Beets, chiles, red radishes, and hibiscus tea. I came across a beautiful bunch of beets on my recent farmers market visit. I also picked up some peculiar long green peppers, that are similar to sweet bell peppers, but milder in taste, with a crisp bite.
I've been "beeting" the Summer heat with these simple cold noodle salads that consist of fresh, raw vegetables, springy noodles (in my case mung bean/bean thread noodles), tossed with a flavorful soy based sauce. I've added a bit of Chamorro finadene dinanchi paste, which is basically a HOT pepper paste of ground tiny red bird chiles, fresh garlic, salt and vinegar. Finadene dinanchi comes in a myriad of forms, but this paste is at its most basic. The chile paste shown is made on the island of Tinian, one of the Northern Mariana Islands well known for it's super hot peppers. I have to give a huge thanks to my mother, who recently brought this paste stateside. I usually stretch this paste as far as I can, till I'm able to scrounge up another chile pepper care package. Thanks Mama!
Beet & Pepper Noodle Salad
- raw julienned beets (skins and all, scrub & rinse well please)
- slivered sweet green pepper
- sliced scallions
- mung bean noodles drained & rinsed (tossed with a bit of roasted sesame oil)
- chili pepper paste (made of spicy bird chiles, garlic, salt & vinegar)
Boil mung bean noodles in salted water for a few minutes, or till springy (taste for texture). Rinse noodles with cool water, drain well. Toss drained noodles with about a tbs. of roasted sesame oil. Arrange vegetables on top, with a bit of chili pepper paste (to taste).
Before eating, mix vegetables, noodles and pepper paste well. Spoon over as much Sesame Ginger Soy Sauce as you like.
Sesame Ginger Soy Sauce
- 1 garlic clove
- pinky size knob of fresh ginger
- 1 tsp sesame seeds lightly crushed
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp coconut vinegar
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- a bit of sugar for balance
Mash garlic clove, ginger, sesame seeds, and salt together. Let sit for a few minutes to allow garlic to break down -- supposedly allowing prepared raw garlic to sit increases the effectiveness of garlic's positive properties (but don't quote me on that). Add the remaining ingredients, mix well.
Beet & pepper cold noodle salad with sesame ginger soy sauce (the red color is from vinegar I used from my leftover red radish pickle juice)
Mild long green pepper & Chamorro finadene dinanchi (chili paste)
Lovely, unadulterated fresh brewed hibiscus tea (found in Latin markets as Jamaica)
A side note about my kitchen ware: Blue & white bowl purchased in an Asian housewares shop on Clement St (can't remember where); Japanese grinding bowl picked up in Japantown; Bentwood tray, pint glass, and cork trivet found thrifting. All locations are in San Francisco.