Meatless Fridays #4 – Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
With the weather getting warmer my creative juices have started flowing. One of my passions is Asian cuisine. In the past I’ve worked my way through Japanese,Chinese,Korean and Thai cuisine and most recently my culinary adventures have taken me to southeast Asia and in particular Vietnam.
Vietnamese cuisine, in general, is characterized by the use of fresh meats and vegetables flavored with fish sauce (nuoc mam), along with a variety of fresh herbs. Each dish strives to achieve a balance between five elements. They are spicy,sour,bitter,sweet and salt.
For my fourth “Meatless Friday” I decided to prepare a Vietnamese Rice Noodle salad. While a lot of Vietnamese dishes are very spicy I decided to leave out the peppers. What I didn’t leave out is flavor. The balance between sweet, salt and sour along with fresh cilantro creates a salad that is remarkably refreshing. For protein I have added some cooked shrimp and crushed peanuts.
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
1/4 # (dry) rice noodles ( 1/4 of a package)
2 carrots (julienne)
1/2 English cucumber ( seeded and Julienne)
1/4 package fresh bean sprouts (about 2 oz)
2 green onion sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
4 medium cooked shrimp
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 teaspoon Fish sauce ( or soy sauce)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Place to rice noodles in a pan and cover with boiling water. When softened drain and set aside.
Combine all dressing ingredients. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Toss the noodles, vegetables,peanuts and shrimp with the dressing and serve with a wedge of lime on the side.
- This should make 2 entree size salads or 4 appetizer size.
- If you like you spice add a teaspoon or so of sambal or a diced jalapeno.
- To make this Vegetarian/Vegan just leave out the shrimp.
- I didn’t have any fish sauce so I used soy. The change ( and the omission of the shrimp) also makes this a Vegan dish.
“Khi an trai nho ke trong cay”
“When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree”