Vietnamese Prawn Vermicelli Noodle Salad

Vietnamese prawn and vermicelli noodle salad

Vietnamese prawn and vermicelli noodle salad

So it’s been a while, huh? 

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down to write and ended up putting it aside to write my thank you cards for the wedding presents.  Each time since there has been a similar distraction which has kept me away from this blog.  It isn’t that I haven’t been eating – far from it – more that other things have got in the way.  I think we all have this problem.

Yesterday I spent much of the day on the couch with a bad bout of asthma.  As is often the way when I feel sorry for myself, much of my sustenance came from the toaster and the biscuit tin.  When I finally mustered the energy to pop down to the local shops and buy myself some Lucozade (magical restorative potion of choice), I went past the greengrocers and realised that something had to change: I needed vegetables.

Although the temperature has dropped in London in the past few days, I find that I am still in love with the no-cook meals I have discovered during the recent heatwave.  After all, nobody wants to slave over an oven and a hob when it is in excess of 30 degrees.  There has been a lot of raw vegetable consumption in my household over the summer, and I have to confess that I am feeling all the better for it.

Asian salads are one of the best ways to eat raw vegetables as the punchy, spicy dressings are the perfect cure for the sometimes monotonous taste.  They usually consist of vegetables, and often fruit, shredded very finely and combined with noodles or beansprouts and often meat or fish.  The art of creating the perfect dressing is getting the balance of the four elements right: hot, salty, sweet and sour, the basis of a lot of Asian cookery.

This salad is a typical Asian medley of vegetables with vermicelli rice noodles and prawns.  Although it isn’t strictly a no-cook recipe, the few minutes spent stir frying the vermicelli noodles and beansprouts in a wok barely counts.  Using cooked prawns is the easy option, but you could cook your own if you wish.

Vietnamese Prawn and Vermicelli Noodle Salad
Serves 2-3; adapted from a recipe from taste.com.au

For the dressing
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
90ml lime juice
2 birds eye chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

250g fresh vermicelli noodles
75g beansprouts
1 large carrot, cut into thin batons
1 cucumber, deseeded and cut into thin batons
2 birds eye chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
300g cooked, peeled prawns
2 tbsp each of finely chopped mint, coriander and basil

Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl, whisk to dissolve the sugar and set aside.

Stir fry the vermicelli noodles and beansprouts according to packet instructions and then transfer to a large bowl.  Add the carrot, cucumber, chilli, prawns and herbs.  Pout over the dressing and toss to combine.

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