Tonight when I reached in the pantry, I came out with Chinese egg noodles and I thought as long as there was some noodle element, it was fine. Actually, some people would probably prefer this set-up with rice or with no carb at all. My two cents is that if you're going to buy noodles at an Asian store as I do, make sure the translation of the cooking directions on the package is clear enough. Some rice noodles like to be soaked, some like to be boiled, some need to be rinsed - I just follow the package directions.
|cabbage (purple would have been prettier), cilantro, the first cucumber from our garden (!), cold BBQ chicken from the 4th of July, broccoli and cauliflower, Thai basil from the porch pot|
We love this as a summer meal, using whatever veggies and herbs are available. I fry the onions outside on the grill burner to keep the smell and heat outside.
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad (serves 4-6)
Mix for dressing and set aside:
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
juice and zest of one large lime
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. water
1 garlic clove, minced
few squirts siriacha, to taste
An hour before you want to eat:
Thinly slice a large onion in rings. Place in a bowl with ice water. Set aside.
Prepare rice noodles (1/2-1 lb.) depending if you want them hot or cold or room temperature. I go for room temperature because it's the least fussy. Also, some rice noodles seem to develop a strange tough texture when chilled.
Prepare whatever raw Asian-ish veggies and herbs you have: cucumber, carrot, sprouts, cabbage, Thai basil, cilantro, mint. Arrange on a platter. Optionally, prepare cold sliced meat and chopped peanuts, too (I usually do one or the other).
Ten or fifteen minutes before dinner, drain onions from ice water. Heat 1/2" oil in large frying pan. Pat onions dry. Dredge gently in 1/2 cup flour mixed with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Fry onions, turning to get both sides and not worrying if they stick together (but don't crowd the pan or they will steam instead of browning crisp - do two batches if you need to). Drain on cooling rack or paper towels. Serve hot.
Assemble salad with noodles, veggies/herbs, fried onions, and dressing over all.