Jan 13, 2013

Favourite recipe: Thai noodle salad

Do you have recipes you go back to over and over because you are guaranteed a happy feed? This recipe for a Thai (inspired) noodle salad is on high rotation at my place. It's particularly good in summer when my appetite plummets (too hot to eat) and it's got all the salady-y goodness without the depressing need to eat leaves dressed with vinegar.

  • Green beans (150, trimmed & halved)
  • Cherry tomatoes (250g, halved)
  • Lebanese cucumber (1, cut into 2cm pieces)
  • Red onion (1/2, thinly sliced)
  • Mixed lettuce leaves (2 cups/ 60g)
  • Mint leaves (1/3 cup, coarsely chopped)
  • Vermicelli noodles (120g)
  • Coriander leaves (1/3 cup, coarsely chopped)
  • Unsalted, roasted peanuts (2 tbsp, chopped)
For the dressing:
  • Soy sauce (1 cup)
  • Fish sauce (1 tbsp)
  • Sweet chilli sauce (2 tbsp)
  • Lime juice (2 tbsp)
  • Sesame oil (3 tsp)
This recipe is from a Weight Watches Programme Cookbook. (Sorry I can't find a link to the book online. No, I'm not part of the programme but the book has amazing quick and healthy recipes and it was $10 so I had to buy it). The original recipe is with 400g lamb leg steaks (cooked to your liking). I often substitute this with chicken breast (cooked in the oven, with a sprinkling of paprika). Very often I omit the meat altogether. The salad and noodles taste great on their own.

My notes:
  • I don't add the lettuce - I find it doesn't really go with the recipe
  • I often substitute peanuts with roasted cashews and/or sunflower seeds. Tastes just as good. 
  • I leave out the sweet chilli sauce (I don't like it) and add some chopped fresh chilli instead. 
  • The coriander should be optional (I don't always use it - herbs are expensive!). The mint is needed for the flavour though
What to do:
  • Cook lamb, chicken or other choice of meat to your liking. Slice it up into bite sized pieces.
    Boil or steam beans until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold water.
  • Cook noodles as per packet instructions. Drain well. Using scissors, cut noodles into 6cm lengths (easier to eat and you don't get stuck with a never-ending noodle slurp)
  • Place meat, beans, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, lettuce and mint in a large bowl. 
  • Whisk together soy, fish and sweet chilli sauces with lime juice and oil. Add 3/4 of the dressing to the meat and veggies mix. Toss.
  • Add remaining dressing to noodles and toss well to combine.
  • Divide noodles among bowls, add meat and veggie mix and top with nuts and coriander.
  • Eat and go yum!

This recipe serves 4. 

Some pictures from my latest attempt -

The veggies, chopped up and waiting to be dressed.
The dressing
The finished product

Yummy, fresh veggie goodness

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