Sometimes it’s hard to come up with a quick and tasty meal that everyone in the family will enjoy. My repertoire of these types of meals is somewhat tired and predictable. Fortunately a precious friend from back home came to my rescue the other day when she emailed me a recipe for her Asian-inspired noodle salad. She was prompted by the photo of my pohon jeruk nipis (lime tree) that I had posted on Instagram. As the recipe calls for the use of a generous amount of lime juice, my friend figured that I could use the limes from my tree in her salad recipe.
I had bought my lovely citrus tree earlier that day from our local mobile nurseryman. He regularly walks the streets of our neighbourhood, pulling his cart filled with an assortment of plants including orchids, herbs and of course citrus. After some friendly bargaining, we arrived at a price that we were both happy with. I then proudly carried my lovely garden addition home.
That evening I shelved my idea of making chilli beef & bean tacos (‘didn’t we have that for dinner the other night, Mum?’) and instead pulled out all the ingredients for this recipe, which I happened to have in my fridge and pantry. ‘Hey presto!’ a quick, tasty and nutritious meal was served up that evening much to the delight of my family.
Quick and Tasty Asian-Inspired Noodle Salad
(serves 6 – 8 persons, when accompanied by chicken skewers)
200g packet of rice noodles (or any other variety of noodle that is suitable for salad-style recipes eg: soba)
1 lebanese cucumber – halved lengthwise and sliced diagonally
200g cherry tomatoes
1 cup fresh mint leaves – roughly chopped
1 cup fresh coriander leaves – roughly chopped
1 stalk lemongrass (white only) – finely chopped
2 small red chillies – finely chopped (remove seeds if less heat desired)
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup juice from jeruk nipis (local Indonesian limes)
2 tbsp coconut sugar (or palm sugar)
1/4 cup roasted peanuts – roughly chopped
1. Cook noodles until ‘al dente’. Drain and place in large serving bowl. Add cucumber, tomatoes, mint and coriander
2. Whisk lemongrass, chilli, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice
3. Add to noodles then sprinkle with peanuts
To add more protein to the meal, I like to also prepare some chicken skewers, which are served with a mildly spiced peanut sauce.
Hint: sometimes it can be difficult to extract the juice from jeruk nipis. By rolling the whole fruit across a hard surface a few times before cutting in half, the juice is more easily released from the flesh.
Words: Jo Photography: a journey bespoke