Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Another hot day in Yucatan and time for a cold dinner of salads. Previously I shared 10 Minute Canned Salmon Salad (May 31,2020) and also Chilled Asparagus Salad (last week). Here I am adding an easy Vietnamese Noodle Salad with garnishes of jicama, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes and black olives. The “noodles” are actually rice vermicelli which is readily available in most grocery stores where pasta or Asian foods are displayed. It made a great looking salad bowl! (I took this photo before I added the tomatoes) LOL.

The “salads” can easily be made ahead and assembled as shown when lunch or dinner calls.

Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces thin Asian vermicelli noodles
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 2 cucumbers seeded and shredded
  • 4 green onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts OPTIONAL
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Lime

1. Soften the vermicelli noodles in a large bowl by covering with boiling water and soaking for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Rinse under cold water, drain, and add to a large bowl. Add the shredded carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts and chopped cilantro to the noodles.

2. In a glass jar fitted with a lid or a bowl, mix together the fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic and crushed red pepper. Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the noodles and toss to coat. Add more dressing if desired. Sprinkle with more cilantro and green onion and a squeeze of lime if desired. Salad can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight, however if making ahead, add the cilantro just before serving.

Zoodle Pad Thai

After spiralizing my zucchini, I was ready to prepare the sauce and ready my garnishes. It is a fairly simple cooking process, for which I use my trusty wok. Use less zucchini for two people,but otherwise follow the instructions. A spoonful of real peanut butter isn’t a bad option to the sauce? I am addicted…

Zoodle Pad Thai

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchinis (about 10-ounces each), made into zoodles with spiralizer ( I used one larger one for two people)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 green onions, sliced in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped

Sauce

  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce

Garnish

  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Bean sprouts
  • Peanuts
  • Lime wedge

Instructions

For the sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside until needed.

Heat a wok, or large skillet (preferably with high sides) over medium-heat. Add the oil and garlic, and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).

Add the 2 eggs to the pan and lightly scramble for about 30-40 seconds. Add half of the green onions, and peanuts to the skillet, toss for about 30 seconds.

Add the zoodles and the set aside sauce to the skillet. Use tongs to gently toss the zoodles into the sauce to evenly coat all of the zoodles.

Garnish with the remaining uncooked green onions, peanuts, bean sprouts, cilantro and a lime wedge.

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

Thai is undoubtedly one of my favourite foods and this soup is no exception. Hope you will try it and let me know what you think. And..its from Michael Smith, one of my heroes…LOL. (My apologies to Michael for altering the original as shown)

Thai Coconut Curry Soup from Michael Smith
Meat
• 2 Chicken breasts (Good old Costco – I used their chicken strips in a bag – two handfuls partially thawed)
Produce
• 1 handful Bean sprouts (I substituted frozen broccoli pieces)
• 1 Carrot, shredded
• 1 bunch Cilantro, roots
• 1 bunch Cilantro, leaves
• 1 small knob Ginger, frozen
• 2 Green onions
• 2 stalks Lemon grass or 1 Tablespoon lemongrass paste
• 4 Lime, leaves
• 2 Limes, zest and juice
Canned Goods
• 2 cups Chicken broth
• 2 14 ounce cans Premium coconut milk
• 1 heaping tbsp Thai curry paste
Condiments
• 2 tbsp Fish sauce or less as you prefer
• 1 Sprinkle or two salt or soy sauce
Pasta & Grains
• 1 8 ounce package Rice noodles (Or skip either of these if you don’t want the starch)

Scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of just one of the cans into a large stockpot set over a medium-high heat. Melt the cream, add the curry paste and stir for a few minutes until they begin to sizzle.

Add the cilantro roots and chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut juice from the first can and all the contents of the second can along with the chicken broth, carrot, lime leaves, lemon grass, fish sauce and lime zest and juice. Grate the frozen ginger into the broth with a Microplane grater or standard box grater. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.

OPTIONAL – Stir in the bean sprouts. Add the rice noodles, gently pushing them beneath the surface of the broth. Turn off the heat and let stand until the noodles soften, about 5 minutes. Rice noodles don’t need to simmer like pasta to cook; they simply need to rehydrate in the hot liquid.

Stir in most of the cilantro leaves. Remove the lemon grass stalks. Taste and season with a touch more salt (or soy sauce) as needed. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with the green onions and remaining cilantro leaves.

Stefanos Ultimate Pad Thai

Stefano Faita is one of my favourite TV chefs. Thai food is also a favourite of mine. This recipe seems a little complicated, but if you prepare everything in advance it is quite fast to cook for your guests.

Stefano’s Ultimate Pad Thai 4 servings

INGREDIENTS
3/4(14-ounce) package flat rice noodles (1/4-inch thick)
4 tbsp. ketchup
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. lime juice
3 tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 block extra firm, pressed tofu, diced or about 1 cup diced tofu
20 small to medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
2 small chicken breasts, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
3 eggs
2 shallots
1 heaping tbsp. ginger
1 heaping tbsp. garlic
2 Thai chilies, or to taste, chopped
3/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
3 green onions, sliced on the diagonal
2 handfuls bean sprouts
3 limes, cut into wedges
Large handful cilantro, chopped

PREPARATION
Add boiling water to rice noodles. Let soak for about 1 minute. Drain and set aside. Alternatively, let soak in room temperature water until pliable, about 1 hour. (You can soak noodles in cold water and store in fridge 1 day in advance.)
To make sauce: add ketchup, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce to small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Add vegetable oil to wok and heat over medium heat. Fry tofu, until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towel. (Note this step can be done 1 day in advance).
Remove 3 tbsp. oil from the wok. Increase heat to high. Add chicken and season with salt. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp and stir-fry until both chicken and shrimp are just cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate.
Add shallots, chilies, garlic and ginger and stir-fry until lightly golden, about 30 seconds. Add eggs. Let fry for 1 minute.
Add noodles then sauce. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add chicken and shrimp back to the wok. Cook until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Garnish pad Thai with peanuts, green onion, bean sprouts, cilantro and lime wedges.
Yield: 4 servings.