Spicy Noodle Cucumber Salad with Luncheon Meat
Hi internet! By the time you read this, I will be in Iceland 🏞️ yay!
This post is a little outside my comfort zone because it is kind of unhealthy. Most of the recipes on this blog are healthier. This one has lunch meat, which is basically better-tasting spam. It also has instant noodles, which aren't as bad but I tend to avoid super processed foods by habit (and preference).
With that disclaimer aside, this noodle salad is satisfying and fun to eat. It has lots of flavor! I adapted the recipe from Alvin Zhou, a cooking Youtuber at About to Eat who also makes really wonderful, zen cooking videos at home (I will cover some of those recipes another time).
In the linked video, Alvin says he often ate this salad after coming home from school. That kind of reminds me of when my mom would pack me salami for school for lunch everyday 😅
-4 oz luncheon meat (I used gourmet lunch meat from the Asian grocery store and found that pork-based meat turned out better)
-8 oz of cucumber
-One 3 oz pack of instant ramen noodles (I used Maruchan chicken flavor but anything that is in a flatter shape will work well)
-2 tbsp chili oil (I used Lao Gan Ma chili oil with fermented soybeans and it's incredible)
-1 tsp honey
-1 tbsp rice vinegar
-1 tsp of ramen packet flavoring powder
Slice your lunch meat into matchsticks and place in a pan heated over medium heat. You don't need to oil the pan, the lunch meat has plenty of fat and will start rendering it and cooking in it in a couple minutes. Stir and turn often so that the meat doesn't stick. Cook until the meat is darker red and kind of crispy-looking. You will probably develop a fond, that is fine. In the meantime, I usually start cutting my cucumbers into matchsticks.
Then place your fried meat in a bowl. Place some water in the pan and then add your ramen disc. You want enough water to cover the ramen at least halfway.
While your noodles are cooking, finish up your cucumber matchsticks, and then assemble your sauce in a small bowl by combining chili oil, honey, rice vinegar, and 1 tsp of your ramen flavoring packet. Mix the sauce with a spoon.
Once your noodles are cooked, strain them and run and massage them over cold water from your faucet. This will cool them down and remove a lot of starch.
Finally, assemble your cucumber, noodles, lunch meat, and sauce in a medium or large bowl.
Mix with chopsticks or similar and serve.
This salad is delicious and so fun to eat. It is spicy, and the spice complements the different ingredients well. The meat is very similar in taste to bacon. The chili oil-based sauce is delicious and the fermented soybeans are slightly bitter and so savory in a really interesting way. The cucumbers pick up the oil really well and make the salad crunchy and refreshing.
All in all, this salad is really fun and satisfying and while it is probably high in sodium, at least it has some protein! About 14 grams' worth, from the meat.
Next post will probably be about scones! Have a good rest of your summer,