Saturday, January 18, 2014

Noodle Salad Bowl

It's way too cold today, so I tried to counter all the never-ending wintery terribleness with this light summery noodle-y salad bowl. Like the even simpler Rice Noodles, Fried Egg & Stuff that I posted almost a year ago, this is based on my favorite dish at Tram's, a Vietnamese place in Bloomfield. It's cheap and easy and full of great fresh flavor. 

Also, Michelle & Nick are in Vietnam!!!! They are probably eating the actual authentic version of this right now. 

Noodle Salad Bowls
(Serves 3-4)

I'm listing all the ingredients that ideally I would use to make this dish. I always seem to be missing a couple things, but this is what I aim for. This time I was missing thai basil, cucumber and peanuts, and it was still great.

2 handfuls rice noodles (when I buy them at Lotus, they normally come in bundles within a package)
4-5 cups romaine lettuce, roughly chopped 
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup diced cucumber 
1/4 loosely packed cup mint - roughly chopped right before serving
1/4 loosely packed cup thai basil - roughly chopped right before serving
5-6 frozen egg rolls, baked and cut into about 1" thick slices
hoisin sauce & Sriracha (for squirting on top)
1/4 cup peanuts, crushed into little pieces (put them in a bag and smash with the bottom of a mug)
Nuoc mam cham for dressing (see below for recipe)

Prepare the rice noodles - I usually boil a pot of water, pop the noodles in for just a couple minutes and then turn off the heat. Drain the noodles and run cold water over them. 

Build the bowl - start with a base of romaine lettuce, then top with the noodles. Pour a couple tablespoons of nuoc mam cham on the noodles. Then add the other toppings (bean sprouts, carrot, cucumber, mint, thai basil, egg roll slices, peanuts, hoisin and Sriracha). I usually spread them out on top and them mix it all together when I'm ready to eat.

Twilly's "Before" pic - he got a haircut yesterday! I need to take a picture of his new look.
Nuoc mam cham (dressing or spring roll dipping sauce)

1 ½ cup water
8 Tbsp fish sauce
6 Tbsp fresh lime juice
6 tsp rice vinegar
6 Tbsp sugar
1 deseeded and finely chopped fresh red chili
4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
¼ cup finely sliced carrots (optional)
  1. Combine water, rice vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil.
  2. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, chili, garlic and carrots.
  4. Note: If you have any leftovers, just put it into a container and freeze it for another meal.

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