Thursday, 7 February 2013

Missing Fried Noodle Salad?

I love low carb food, but seriously, sometimes there's only so much meat and cheese I can handle.

That said, I have a long history of absolutely hating salad.

I remember being quite impressed the first time my Mum made the salad from the recipe on the back of the Chang's Fried Noodle packet. It was crunchy and oniony, sweet and tangy all at once. I loved it. Salad was now something I could enjoy, not a bitter, green nightmare where the tomatoes were the only decent bits.

Unfortunately, as far as salads go, Fried Noodle Salad's probably not the best in terms of sugar and carbohydrate content. The dressing alone requires 1/4 of a cup of castor sugar, and the carbs in the noodles only add to that.

The solution is simple, easy, detracts nothing from the overall taste, and I'm kicking myself for not having thought of this years ago. Leave the noodles out and replace the sugar in the dressing with sweetener. Doy. Sure it's not quite as crunchy as the original, but I really don't miss that, due to the natural crispness of the cabbage, onion, and nuts.

I'm also fairly certain this recipe is vegan, and could very easily be made gluten free too.

You'll need:

  • As much Chinese cabbage as you want. Perhaps about 1.5 cups per person.
  • Onion of your choice. Shallots are used in the original. I went with 1/2 a red onion because it's what I had on hand. No reason you couldn't use both, really.
  • Nuts or seeds. Pine nuts or slivered almonds work well. I used Lucky seed mix with pine nuts.
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tblsp soy sauce. Go the gluten free option here if you need to.
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup peanut or olive oil. Peanut is a much milder flavour, so use that where possible.
  • Desired amount of sweetener of your choice. I used about a tablespoon of Natvia.

I don't want to dictate a set amount of sweetener here. Your sensitivity to sweetness will change depending on how long you've been going without sugar. It also depends on how concentrated your sweetener is.

Make it:

Chop the cabbage into shreds. Chop your onions and/or shallots as fine as you like. Dump it into a bowl big enough for mixing. Sprinkle nuts/seeds over until you're happy with the amount. Give it all a good toss around with some tongs and a good shake.

Find a jar to mix the dressing in, that way you can just screw the lid on and shake it to combine. If you don't use it all in one go, it will keep for ages in the fridge. I found some I'd pushed up the back and forgotten about for about three months and it was fine. It might separate a bit once refrigerated, so just give it a quick zap in the microwave and shake it up.

Serve as a side, or give yourself a generous helping for a nice, light lunch.

Carb count:

 The only carbs in the dressing really come from the soy sauce. So the whole batch of dressing is about 2g carbs, if you make it the way I did with Natvia.

The combined carb count of all the salad ingredients, for a serve like the one in the picture is around 12g. Add an extra 1g for the dressing.

If only I'd known earlier just how tasty salads could be!


  1. Hell yeah salads! Any time someone says "I don't like salad" I merely point out they just haven't had the right one yet. The soggy shit mum makes for family BBQ? Not a real salad.

  2. I bought a chicken salad box from Red Rooster once.
    It cost an insane amount and consisted of a reconstituted chicken fillet chopped up, thrown on top of wilted cos lettuce with a couple of carrot sticks and one wedge of tomato. No dressing/sauce/anything.
    No wonder people hate salads.