Exotic is easy with favorites like spicy Pad Thai and Soba Noodle Salad

Sunset  – August 24, 2006

Fresh, light, and full of flavor, these Asian dishes are easy to prepare and quick to please. You can find Asian noodles in the international or ethic-foods section of the supermarket or at any Asian food store. While you’re there, stock up on a few staple ingredients, such as fish sauce, rice vinegar, and Asian-style peanut sauce, and you’ll be ready to prepare these dishes over and over again.

Soba Noodle Salad
Wasabi powder adds a little heat to this salad’s dressing. Look for it in the spice or ethnic-food section of the supermarket or in Asian markets.

Summer Rolls
This delicious Vietnamese favorite looks and tastes like a lot of work, but it’s ready in about 45 minutes. Serve with a purchased peanut sauce for dipping.

Thai Chicken Pasta
This flavorful dish gets rave reviews on sunset.com’s Kitchen Assistant. One reviewer suggests using rotisserie chicken as a time-saving shortcut.

Sesame Noodle Salad
You can make this savory salad up to 1 day ahead; just cover and chill. For best flavor, bring to room temperature before serving.

Crisp Lettuces with Asian Noodles
For best results, we like to use crunchy lettuces like Sierra, a bronze-tinged iceberg cousin, and a red romaine like Ruben’s Red ― or a mix of iceberg and romaine.

Pad Thai
When Sunset reader Revadee Crabbe, a Thai immigrant, cooks this popular Thai noodle dish for her husband and friends, she adapts it to American tastes by using salt instead of fish sauce, and much less chili.