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Cold noodle salad with ear mushrooms and a spicy garlic soy dressing

The ear mushrooms in this cold noodle salad give it a crunchy, chewy texture that is absolutely to die for! Plus, if you're a fan of a little bit of spice, the spicy garlic soy dressing is so fresh and delicious, you'll want to put it on everything.

To find more of Mary's great recipes, check out her website here!


  • 215g Udon noodles, or noodles of choice. Makes about 6-7 cups
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried wood ear mushrooms (50g) soaked in 4 cups of water
  • 1 stalk green onions, 1-inch thin slices cut horizontally
  • Salt, to season
  • 1/4 cup mint, rough chop
  • Water for boiling


  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, have more handy
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce + 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of 2 limes + zests
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons favourite hot sauce


Prepare wood ear mushrooms:

  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in water for about 30 minutes. Make sure the mushrooms are fully submerged in water. 
  2. In a pot, bring about seven cups of water to a boil. Add the mushrooms and simmer for ten minutes. Remove from water and cool off. Do a rough chop of the mushrooms. Set aside. 


  1. In a pot, bring about 10-12 cups of water to boil and add in a generous pinch of salt. 
  2. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Dried udon noodles cooked in about eight minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside.


  1. Dice the cucumbers. Slice the red peppers, green and red onions. Roughly chop the mint. Set aside. 
  2. (Optional step): Soak the red onions in a bowl of ice water for ten minutes to minimize the sharp onion bite. Drain. 


  1. In a small pot, turn the heat on medium and add vegetable oil. Add the sliced garlic and cook until they are slightly golden. Turn off the heat, and add soy sauce, water, and sesame oil. Mix. Pour the sauce into a bowl to cool off, and add lime juice plus the zests. 
  2. Soak the red onions in the sauce for at least ten minutes to absorb the dressing. 
  3. Add desired amount of hot sauce. Mix, taste and adjust to your liking.

Assemble the salad:

  1. In a bowl, add the noodles, cucumbers, red peppers, and wood ear mushrooms and mix. Add in the dressing and toss. Top with green onions and mint. Optional to add more hot sauce. 

Note: Unused mushrooms can be refrigerated for a few days or kept in the freezer in an airtight bag/container for months. 

All the ingredients can be prepared the day before serving including the dressing.