Vietnamese rice noodle salad

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A delicious spicy, fresh salad which can be eaten on its own or with chicken or fish – try it with my Khmer chicken for a light summer lunch. Double up for larger portions. It’s been my go-to picnic salad this summer and so admired I had to post the recipe forthwith!

Serves 2 as a main course

100g large rice noodles
6 spring onions, finely sliced
2 medium-sized carrots, julienned or spiralised
half a cucumber, julienned
2 large handfuls of sprouting mung beans
50g shelled peanuts
a small bunch coriander
a large handful Thai basil or mint if you can’t get this
a little sesame oil

For the dressing
4 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar (or brown)
a knob of ginger finely grated
2 small, hot red chillies, sliced v thinly – I keep the seeds in!

Put the rice noodles into a bowl and cover with boiling water from the kettle, or check the packet instructions for cooking – they vary enormously and it’s easy to over cook them. Leave them to stand for five minutes. Drain, toss with a small amount of sesame oil and chill thoroughly.

In a mixing bowl make the dressing by lightly whisking together the lime juice, the Thai fish sauce and the palm sugar. Add the ginger and the chillies. Toast the peanuts in a non-stick pan with a little salt till they smell warm and nutty, then chop them roughly, set aside for garnish.

Gently toss the drained noodles with the spring onions, carrot, cucumber, mung beans, the coriander leaves and the coriander/mint/basil and mix in the dressing. At the last minute scatter over the toasted peanuts and a few shakes of sesame oil.

Voila!

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