A healthy seafood salad from British chef Jane Hornby. "Fresh Vietnamese summer rolls are ideal summer food, but unless you live near an Asian supermarket, the rice paper wrappers can be very tricky to find. This recipe includes almost all of the same ingredients, but uses rice noodles instead of the wrappers. The salad goes wonderfully with shredded cooked chicken and pork, too."
2 oz. thin or thick rice noodles
1 handful fresh mint
1 handful fresh cilantro (coriander)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp light brown (light muscovado) sugar
1 small hot red or green chili
1 clove garlic
1/2 smallish head iceberg lettuce
5 oz. whole cooked large shrimp (prawns)
Step 1: Boil a kettle of water. Put the noodles into a large heatproof bowl and pour plenty of just-boiled water over them to cover. Let stand for 5 minutes, until softened and just tender. Thinner noodles take less time than thicker ones so check the package instructions.*
Step 2: Prepare the vegetables while you wait. Thinly slice the cucumber, then cut into sticks. Coarsely grate or shred the carrots. Pick the leaves from the mint and the cilantro (coriander). Tear any larger mint leaves.
Step 3: Squeeze the lime juice and mix with the fish sauce and sugar. Thinly slice the chili and crush the garlic, then add to the mixture. Thinly shred the lettuce.
Step 4: Drain the noodles in a strainer (sieve). If you are concerned that they might be starting to stick together, rinse them under cold running water and let drain.
Step 5: Toss the vegetables, noodles, herbs, and shrimp (prawns) together, then drizzle with the dressing to serve.
* Rice noodles are all about texture. Made with rice flour, these slippery white noodles have a light, barely there flavour that will happily take on most Asian sauces and dressings and can also be used in soups. They vary from very fine to wide ribbons and most just need a quick soaking, or can be added at the very end of cooking (check the package first). To prepare ahead, drain, rinse and drain again, then run a little oil through the strands to keep them separated.
See more recipes from Jane Hornby.
Reprinted with permission from Jane Hornby's Fresh & Easy: What to Cook and How to Cook It (2012 Phaidon).