Sunday, June 5, 2011

Delicious Vietnamese Inspired Noodle Salad

About 2 years ago I had Vietnamese food for the first time. I was immediately hooked. I don't think you could convince me that there is a more delicious cuisine out there. It ranges from healthy salads and soups to sinfully delicious fried things. This salad is inspired by bun (pronounced buun) and it is a great healthy summer salad. Best part- it's very low-fat, so if you are watching your fat intake or just don't want to feel like you ate a dumbbell it's a delicious summer dinner or fancy lunch.

This makes 2-3 servings, depending how hungry you are. Omit or make substitutions as you like, this is just a good starting place.

You will need:

1 large box of salad (I use the spring mix, you can use whatever you prefer. Romaine is a great option)
2/3 pound of fresh steamed shrimp. You can substitute grilled tofu, chicken, or fish if you prefer
1/2cup shredded carrots
2 green onions
1 cup mung bean sprouts
4oz uncooked rice noodles (available at any asian grocery store) I like the double golden fish brand vermicelli size
Hoisin sauce (optional, and available at any grocery store)

2Tbls sugar
2Tbls Lime juice
4Tbls Water
2Tbls fish sauce (waay optional)
1tsp (or 1 clove) minced garlic
1Tbls minced pickled ginger (I get this from the international aisle at the grocery store)
1Tbls minced mint (fresh or otherwise)
1Tbls minced Basil
1Tbls minced Cilantro
a few drops of Siracha (this is crazy hot sauce, available in the international aisle)

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and let sit for an hour or more. Or if you have a food processor you can dump all the items in and whirr it together. This dressing is also a great non-fat all around salad dressing. If you can't have sugar- omit it and substitute with agave nectar or Splenda.

Soak your uncooked rice noodles in a large bowl for 1-2hours. To cook the noodles, boil water and using a colander or sieve dip the noodles in the boiling water for 30seconds to 1minute while shaking to keep the noodles separated. They will cook rapidly. dunk them in cold water to stop cooking. Drain well. Put them in the bottom of your bowls. Add lettuce, veggies/garnishes and protein. Drizzle sauce over the top and add hoisin sauce to taste.

Freakin' delish.

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