Monday, October 17, 2011

Recipe - Meatless Monday: Crunchy Vietnamese salad with noodles

I saw this recipe in the Taste liftout of the Australian a couple of weeks back and it reminded me how much I love a Vietnamese salad with all its crunchy raw ingredients and fresh flavours, enhanced by the mint and coriander.  I must confess however, the fried noodles, whilst crunchy AND delicious, kind of tipped me over the edge, so next time I think I will omit them.  I'm trying to consciously eat a lot more raw food so bolstering the veggies and taking out the noodles results in a healthy, crunch-filled salad with bite. My favourite kind.


  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 Chinese cabbage (wombok), finely shredded (the recipe recommended a mandolin but I found it was more difficult & messy than just shredding with a knife)
  • 1 carrot, finely shredded
  • 1 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups bean sprouts, picked
  • 100g fried egg noodles (optional)

Combine chilli, rice wine vinegar and sugar in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes to slightly reduce. Set aside to cool completely.  If you're time poor and you want an Asian style dressing, you can cheat with (organic) sweet chilli sauce, a bit of rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.

Toss all the remaining ingredients together, then add the chilli dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately as the fried noodles will eventually soften.

To add protein for a more filling meal, add sliced tofu, or if you're not a Meatless Monday fan, sliced barbequed chicken breast.  2 hungry adults ate about 2/3 of the salad (dressed separately in individual bowls, noodles added last; and I added chicken to the leftover salad ingredients the following day for lunch, sans noodles, with the cheats dressing.  Needless to say, it was just as crunchy and tasty.  This could be my new favourite salad!

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