When I started working about 5 months back, I was a little worried about eating too much hawker/canteen food (for lunch). You know, the temptation to over-indulge is always there - oh the fish cutlet rice looks good, hmmm, how about some beehoon with chicken wings? That kueh bomb (banana ball, one of my favourite Malay snacks) is calling out to me, and oh oh, curry and sardine puffs just taste so scrumptious on rainy days... yada yada :p I know myself, I tend to put on weight very quickly if I eat mostly hawker food.
So far, I've been trying to control myself, by bringing salad or home-cook food for lunching in at least 2 to 3 times a week. And if I do eat hawker food, I'll go for Yong Tau Foo beehoon soup with lots of veggies. Oh well, probably once a week or fortnight, I'll indulge in some Malay rice with my favourite achar, tempeh and curry chicken, or Chinese economy rice with my favourite sweet and sour pork.
The salads are usually very simple to put together. Basically mixed greens or baby spinach from Cold Storage, with Jap cucumber, cherry tomatoes, steamed sweet corn kernels, boiled shredded chicken, fruits like strawberry or orange, nuts and dried cranberries. For seasonings, I usually go for balsamic vinegar or sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. The shredded chicken is in fact extracted from the chicken breast carcass that I use for making chicken stock (no waste).
Sometimes, I add in a little carbo just to make the meal more fulfilling. On hungry days, protein and fibre just doesn't seem satisfying enough! This Sōmen salad is inspired by OKC's Udon Salad. Personally I don't really like Udon, prefer thinner noodles like Soba or Ramen. Then I recall that I have 3 packets of Sōmen sitting in my pantry, bought at Isetan Supermarket sometime back, and they are just perfect for as a "Main Course" salad.
First, cook the Sōmen in boiling water added with pinch of salt and olive oil, to al dente. Thereafter, rinse with water and set aside to cool. Shred some cucumber and carrot into matchstick sizes. Toss carrot, cucumber together with Sōmen, add sesame dressing and Jap dressing to taste. Toss the shredded chicken with some Jap mayo and black pepper.
To assemble, place some greens as the base, then twirl the Sōmen and lay them on top of the greens. Top with shredded chicken, tomato, cucumber and finally sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds.
This is somewhat similar to those cold noodles served at Jap restaurant, and makes a perfect meal during hot summer days :)
These are the 3 packs of Sōmen that I bought at Isetan Supermarket. Pretty and apetising looking yeah? Yellow - original, green - green tea and pink - ume (plum).
This Sōmen salad is quite versatile I would say, you can combine with just anything, from greens to fruits to tuna, hardboil egg etc. I think this would be one of my staple lunch during the work week from now onwards :)