Dangmyeon (aka Korean glass or cellophane noodles) are made from sweet potato starch and have zero sodium. They're often used in a japchae, mixed or stir fried with various sautéed vegetables, but I love them in a salad. They're a little chewy and the dressing clings to the noodles without making them too soggy. This salad has all the necessary components--leafy greens, lean protein, crispy vegetables, flavorful herbs, crunchy toppings, and a light, tangy dressing with less than 1 mg of sodium per tablespoon. Mix and match whatever vegetables and protein you have on hand for a quick and easy low sodium weeknight meal.
Servings: Makes 4 entree salads
Sodium: 95 mg sodium per salad Time: 30 minutes
Salad ingredients: 7 ounces (dry) potato starch noodles, cooked according to package (see TIPS, below)
12 ounces poached chicken breast (about 2 medium uncooked boneless breasts)
7-8 cups lettuce or greens of your choice (I used butter lettuce)
2 medium carrots, julienned (use 1 red or orange bell pepper to further reduce sodium)
2 medium cucumbers, julienned
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 scallions, chopped small
2 cups roughly chopped fresh herbs--I like cilantro, mint, and Thai Basil
4-5 teaspoons of fried shallots, or any chopped, unsalted nut (peanuts or almonds would work well)
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp dried ground mustard
1 tablespoon unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
Makes about 3/4 cup of dressing, enough for 4 servings
1) Make the dressing - combine all ingredients and whisk or shake in a glass jar to blend. If you don't have the chili garlic sauce, add any spicy chili you like or simply omit entirely. The dressing keeps for at least a week so it's easy to make in advance.
2) Poach the chicken - Place two chicken breasts in enough cold water to cover them by about 2 inches, and heat on high until the water comes to a rapid boil. Turn off the heat and keep covered for 20 minutes. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F. Remove from heat, and cut or tear into small pieces. If the chicken is still pink in the middle, you could drop it back into the hot poaching liquid and it will continue to cook.
3) Boil the noodles according to the package. These are the noodles I used. I'm lucky to have a Korean market close by but you could also get these online (albeit for a higher price). Seven ounces is about a handful of the dry noodles. They can be very long, so use scissors to cut them shorter after boiling.
4) Toss the vegetables with the chicken, noodles and dressing. Top with fried shallots or nuts. This salad can be served family style in a large bowl or portioned into individual servings.
-Carrots are a relatively high sodium vegetable at 50-55 mg for a medium sized carrot. Use a lower sodium red bell pepper, or any other crunchy vegetable of your choice, to further reduce the sodium content in this salad.