My friend Deb used to make this salad for every cookout she had at her house. After she gave me the recipe, I started to make it for every cookout at my house as well. And, after I shared this recipe with my sisters, they did the same. This pasta salad is super simple, perfect for potlucks and welcome at any BBQ. I think after you make this salad once, it will become a regular side dish at all of your cookouts, too.
To make the dressing, first use a microplane to grate the ginger and garlic. Then add together the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and cayenne pepper. Mix the dressing thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved.
Set the dressing aside and prep the salad. Cook, drain, rinse, and cool the pasta. You can add some sesame oil to the pasta to keep it from sticking if you need to. Finely dice the red onion and julienne the rest of the vegetables. You can switch up the veggies you use, but carrot, red pepper, and snow peas are an excellent combination.
Mix the the pasta, veggies and 2/3rds of the dressing together. Then chill the salad for a few hours (at least 2) before serving . Give it a taste and add the rest of the dressing if you think it needs it. You can also toss in a few sesame seeds as garnish. Black ones are nicer but I didn’t have any when taking these photos.
This salad keeps well, tastes even better the next day and with some added cooked chicken makes a fantastic complete lunch. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Sesame-Ginger Pasta Salad with Julienned Vegetables
- 500 g Rotini, Penne, or other short pasta shape Cooked, drained, rinsed, and cooled.
- 1 red belll pepper, julienned
- 1 handfull snow peas, julienned
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional) as garnish Black sesame seeds are preferred and they look nicer here.
- 125 ml red wine vinegar
- 125 ml soy sauce
- 8 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse, and chill the pasta. Add some sesame oil to keep the pasta from sticking together if needed.
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients and mix well to ensure the sugar is dissolved.
- Mix together the chilled pasta, vegetables, and 2/3rds of the dressing.
- Chill pasta salad until ready to serve (at least 2 hours). Just before serving, taste the salad and add the reserved dressing if needed. Garnish the salad with sesame seeds if desired.