Summer Noodles

July 9, 2011 § 7 Comments

There are a lot of descriptives for the shape life takes during the early phases of relocation; interesting, stressful, exciting, dizzying, scary, refreshing, and unexpected are some that come to mind, and the one that it is so clearly not: boring. Every single day we meet new people, reconnect with old friends, look for more job opportunities, go on interviews, encounter another bureaucratic process we were not previously aware of. There is little routine just yet, and we awake needing to refer to written reminders of what the day will bring.

It is a bit of rush at times (and leaves me quite nauseous at others), and while I have the feeling that we will one day reflect on our first year back in Israel with amusement and relief at it being the past, I also love that the future awaits its unwrapping, and that this enormous decision that Jeff and I made is shaping our destiny in new and unpredictable ways.

At least that’s how I feel on a good day.

As Jeff keeps reminding me, the key to keeping our sanity (however tenuously) until things settle down, is to take each day as it comes, and to focus on the small victories and joys.

Here’s to another (hot) adventure-filled week.

Summer Noodles with Mango, Cucumber and Ginger, adapted from Gourmet Today

We are experiencing the beginning of one of Israel’s famous summer heat waves. Even here on the edge of Jerusalem’s Valley of the Cross, where a breeze can mercifully be felt throughout the season’s heat, the air is still. Heavy, hot food was out of the question this weekend, and a cold, sightly spicy, noodle salad was calling my name. 

For vinaigrette

  • 6 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño chile, including seeds, or to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

For noodles

  • 8 ounces bean thread (cellophane) noodles (I would have loved to have used soba noodles, myself, but all I could gat my hands on at the last minute were thin spaghetti. Use whatever you/is available)
  • 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced diagonally (1 cup)
  • 1 firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced (the mangoes I found were small, so I used two- it depends on the size of the fruit and how much you like mango- either way you can’t go wrong)
  • 2 thin carrots, very thinly sliced diagonally (I just chopped mine)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
Make vinaigrette:
Blend all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until smooth– I did not have a blender, so I just whisked.
Make noodles:
Soak noodles in cold water in a bowl until pliable, about 15 minutes, then drain in a colander. Cut noodles in half with scissors.
Cook noodles in a 4-quart pot of boiling salted water , stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 2 minutes (or follow the package’s directions). Drain noodles in colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain noodles again well, then spread out on paper towels and blot excess liquid.
Toss noodles with dressing in a bowl. Add cucumber, scallions, mango, and carrots and gently toss until just combined. Serve topped with cilantro sprigs.

mango noodles and fizzy lemonade

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§ 7 Responses to Summer Noodles

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