My immediate attraction to this salad recipe is proof of one thing: if you put a Thai or Vietnamese spin on any ingredient, I'm apt to love it - green bell peppers excluded (we're never going to mend fences). I also love the tangled up-ness of this recipe. It makes it super easy to put together and even easier to adapt the ingredients. Add extra veggies like edamame or snow peas. Substitute the mint for cilantro, which I did in my version. You can adjust the heat in any direction. I love a little spice so the red chili was a great touch for me. If it's too much for you, add more jalapeno and omit the red chili. This salad was a great side dish for a Thai-themed dinner night but would be great as a main topped with spiced chicken or seared tuna.
Thai Carrot Noodle Salad - adapted from a recipe found here at BBCGoodFood - serves 4 as a side dish
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- juice of 2 large limes
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 large jalapeno, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 thai red chili, de-seeded and thinly finely chopped
- 3 large carrots, peeled and thinly grated or julienned - I slice mine with a vegetable peeler
- 8 ounces (or half of a 16 oz package - the average size I've seen) rice vermicelli noodles
- 1/2 cup dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro - for garnish
- 2 green onions, roughly chopped - for garnish
- Start 8 cups of water on to boil. Place dry noodles in a large heat-proof bowl. When the water comes to a rolling boil, take off heat and pour over noodles. Allow them to soak for 5-7 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Once they're tender, drain thoroughly. Return to large bowl and allow to cool. You'll mix the rest of the salad together in that bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine sliced shallots, jalapeno, red chili, fish sauce, sugar, rice wine vinegar, and lime juice. You can also make this in a small container with a lid - it makes it really easy to shake the dressing & combine all the bits.
- Once the noodles have cooled, you're ready to mix it all together. In the large mixing bowl, combine the carrots and peanuts in with the noodles. Drizzle dressing over noodle mixture and combine thoroughly so ingredients are distributed through the noodles. Add cilantro and green onion & toss again. You can serve this immediately but it tastes best if it's allowed to sit for at least 30 minutes.