Asparagus Laksa Salad

By • April 8, 2010 6 Comments

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Author Notes: The subtle flavor of raw asparagus, served on a bed of cold noodles, is not only enhanced by a douse of light, citrus-y dressing, but given an extra pop with the last-minute addition of a hollandaise-like curry sauce. Inspired by Laksa, a coconut-based curry soup, this springy salad has gotten rave reviews from all who have tried it. You can substitute any type of noodle. Serving the accompanying sauce on the side allows the guests to control the spiciness of this refreshing-yet-satisfying dish. It can be made one day ahead.Anitalectric


Serves 4

Noodle Salad

  • 1/2 pound rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, sliced thin on the diagonal
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned
  • Dressing:
  • 1 small shallot, cut into thin strips
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 lemon, zest (reserve juice for curry sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 handfuls cilantro, chopped
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Remove from heat and submerge the noodles in it for about 10 minutes to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside to macerate.
  3. If necessary, cool noodles by running them under cold water. Drain and transfer to a salad bowl. Toss in the cucumber and carrot.
  4. Top with asparagus and dressing. Chill salad while you make the sauce.
  5. Serve the salad cold, with sauce on the side and cilantro to garnish.

Coconut Curry Sauce

  • 1/8 cup chopped ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
  • 3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  1. In a blender or food processor, pulse the ginger, garlic, lemon and spices to form a smooth paste. (NOTE: you can use 2 teaspoons Asian curry powder in place of the spices).
  2. Add the tamarind, tomatoes and coconut milk and blend until smooth. Add a few teaspoons of water, if necessary, to make a pourable, hollandaise-like consistency. Season to taste.
  3. Chill until ready to serve. Serve in a pourable cup or gravy boat so that your guests can help themselves to sauce.

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