This Asian Noodle Salad has an amazing miso ginger dressing and the pan seared shrimp, crisp vegetables and fresh, bright herbs make this just cooked noodle salad a meal.
Miso is a Japanese seasoning that is widely used as a flavoring in the broth soups you get at sushi houses and restaurants. It is actually made from fermented soybeans, salt and often times rice or barley. It gives a rich, complex and slightly salty umami touch to soups, marinades, and in this dish, a salad dressing.
Miso also has many health benefits. It is complete protein containing all the essential amino acids. It assists in digestion, helps restore probiotics in our intestines and helps lower LDL cholesterol to name a few.
In this recipe I started out with the idea of making a soup with some ramen noodles and then decided I wanted fresh noodle sand was going to do a stir fry. Once I got back home I switched my direction and felt like playing with the idea of a cold noodle salad. I had fresh shrimp and there it began. With a miso inspired salad dressing bolstered with fresh and bright ginger it worked beautifully.
With lots of fresh veggies and herbs on hand after hitting up the Farmers Market over the weekend this was a cinch to put together, too. A squeeze of lime over the plated salad, some slivered almonds and sesame seeds to top it off and dig in.
If you like this noodle dish, check out my Japanese Shrimp Ramen in Miso Beef Broth or try my other salads that make a meal like my Pineapple Shrimp Barley Salad or Southwest BBQ Chicken Salad with Grilled Corn, Moroccan Chickpea Carrot Salad with Za’atar Croutons, or this Grilled Corn Salad with Hazelnuts.
I found that a salad like this with noodles needs to be eaten right away as the noodles tend to completely soak up all the dressing and then get too mushy. I like the firmness of them freshly cooked and cooled. If you want to make this ahead of time or save it for leftover, make the noodles to order separately.
So if you’ve bought miso before and used it once for a recipe, pull it out from the back of the refrigerator and let’s make some flavorful salad dressing. Enjoy!
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 cups spinach leaves fresh
- 1 carrot large, peeled and julienned (short thin strips)
- 1/2 red bell pepper sliced julienned (short thin strips)
- 4 green onions white and green parts, chopped, separated
- 1/4 cup mint leaves lightly packed
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves lightly packed
- 2 limes sliced
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp almonds sliced
- In a stock pot bring 8 cups of water to a boil with a tablespoon of kosher salt.
- Cook the noodles per package directions. Drain and rinse. Place in a bowl and toss with tablespoon of oil. Cover and refrigerate to cool.
- Remove the shell and tail from the shrimp. Rinse and pat dry. Season with pinch of kosher salt and red pepper flakes. In a sauté pan over medium heat melt the butter and quickly pan sear the shrimp until pink and cooked through. Set aside.
- In a bowl mix together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Assemble the salad in a large bowl. Add the cleaned, chopped spinach, cold noodles, cooled shrimp, carrot, bell pepper, white parts of the green onion, and herbs. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat.
- Serve with chopped green onions, almonds and sesame seeds on top and cut limes on the side to squeeze on top.
- Either use 8 ounces of fresh noodles like ramen or Shanghai or your favorite OR two 4 ounce packages of dried ramen noodles. Save flavor packet for other use.