Thursday 15 March 2012

NCR Chang's crispy salad with green burgers

A while back I was intrigued to see Lucy blogging about reducing the sugar in a famous recipe.  I had never heard of it.  But I had to try it and find out if it was worth the fuss. We enjoyed it but the fried noodles that form the backbone of the salad aren't regulars in my pantry and is unlikely to ever be, given that I prefer dried noodles.  Nevertheless it was a nice change of salad served with some green green burgers.

As is my way, I meddled with the recipe.  So I am not sure exactly how close it was to the famous original.  E was dubious at first and asked was I sure I shouldn't cook the noodles.  Fried noodles are a curiosity in our house.  Sylvia honed in on the carb factor and gobbled them up but they were rather spillable.  (I have wondered if freshly cooked noodles would work just as well in the salad.)  I added my current favourite tofu bacon instead of nuts and added a touch of spice for E - and for Lisa.

Whenever I add spice to any meal I often think of Lisa  of Lisa's Kitchen.  She is such a spice fiend!  So it was no surprise that when she announced that for her birthday month, the theme for No Croutons Required (that she co-hosts with Jacqueline) was a salad or soup with a kick of spice.  The chilli paste worked well in the salad dressing to give it a lift.

Lisa also asks how we would serve the dish.  One of my favourite ways to serve salad is with burgers.  I made a batch of spinach and chickpea burgers.  I made some alterations to the recipe and found I needed more starch to hold them together so they were quite dense but enjoyable nevertheless.  Sylvia had a few bites but was more interested in the tomato sauce on top.  I also served some corn on the cob.  We didn't have dessert but if I were to choose a cake to celebrate Lisa's birthday, it would be honey, yoghurt and chocolate cake.
A few days later I mentioned to my mum that I had made the salad and she told me how much she loved it when one of her colleagues had brought the salad along to work functions.  Have you heard of this famous recipe, and if so what do you think of it?

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Artichoke muffins for the zoo
This time two years ago: Green salads for Paddy’s Day
This time four years ago: Mulligatawny and dubious traditions

Oriental Fried Noodle Salad
Adapted from Changs
serves about 4 as a side dish

1/8 cabbage, finely chopped
1 medium green capsicum, finely sliced
1/2 cup chopped and cooked tofu bacon
2 spring onions, chopped
1 x 100g packet of Chang's fried noodles

3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp raw sugar
1/2 tsp chilli paste

Place all ingredients, except fried noodles, into a medium salad bowl.  Make dressing by lightly whisking all ingredients.  When ready to serve, add fried noodles and dressing.  Toss well and serve.

Spinach and Chickpea Burgers
Adapted from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way
Serves 4

150g baby spinach
400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 eggs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp flaked salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
2/3 cup corn crumbs (or bread crumbs for non-GF burgers)
oil spray

Blend spinach leaves in food processor.  Add chickpeas, parmesan cheese, salt and smoked paprika.  Blend briefly so it retains a little texture.  Stir in besan and corn crumbs until it is firm enough to be able to handle.  Make into flat patties with damp hands.  I made 9 burgers.  I put them straight onto the grill because they were very fragile.  Spray with oil and grill for about 5-10 minutes until dry and very lightly browned.  Turn over and spray the other side with oil.  Grill until lightly browned. 

On the Stereo:
Worker's Playtime: Billy Bragg


  1. My mum has brought this famous salad along to family gatherings a few times recently which is the only reason I know of it. It's quite nice for a simple salad and I'm sure your addition of tofu bacon would really make it shine. It sounds like you are as addicted to tofu bacon now as we have been for the past year! :)

    1. Thanks Mel - we are addicted to tofu bacon - Sylvia loves it and keeps asking for it - seems to make anything taste better

  2. I haven't heard of this salad either! I must confess, I'm not a big fan of fried noodles either and I would take your burgers over the salad I suspect. With that said, the famous-ness and your tofu bacon addition have me wanting to try it just for the sake of trying.

    1. Thanks Kari - I find the fried noodles odd too - maybe this famous salad keeps their sales up - and of course curious people like you and me :-)

  3. Yes, whenever I've seen bloggers talk about this "famous" salad I've always thought "what? No on I know has ever made it"! The recipe has never made me want to make it either, but your version looks better :)

    1. Thanks Hannah - I was surprised that my mum knew it since I have never even heard of it - not sure what the original would taste like with almonds but I think I would prefer it with tofu bacon

  4. Famous salad? Well I feel out of the loop. Your version looks and sounds delicious, especially with that tofu bacon on top, I love smoky flavors mixed with salads.

    1. Thanks Maggie - you are welcome to join those of us in the comments who seem to be out of the loop :-) I agree with you about smoky flavours in salad - or anything else for the matter

  5. I also feel out of the loop - no idea such a famous salad existed. On the plus side though, totally stealing your burger recipe ;0)

    1. Thanks Chele - maybe the salad isn't as famous as some might think :-) enjoy the burgers

  6. Regardless of how close it is to the original, this looks like a delicious meal.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - that is the important thing, isn't it!

  7. Thanks so much Johanna. That salad sounds great and those burgers - yes please. Very nice of you to think of me when you are spicing up your dishes :)

    1. Thanks Lisa - would love to serve you up a plate of these for your birthday - and you could have some extra spice on hand like E often does :-)

  8. I've had salads similar to this but don't know if it was this one exactly. Your version looks yummy though! You could use fresh noodles but if it's the salad I'm thinking of, the point of adding the noodles is for crunch. So better to add something crunchy, maybe roasted peanuts or something?

    1. Thanks Ashley - good thought on the crunch - but I think I prefer my crunch from lots of crunchy veg than noodles - though I also like some roasted seeds in my salads

  9. Your burger recipes are flawless! I not very confident when it comes to cooking with tofu, so i might try making the tofu bacon :)

  10. waw! Your yummy green burgersz look amazing, tasty & apart too! :) Well flavoured yummines!


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