If you are in the mood for something different, this is probably for you. Many years ago, I was part of a dinner party that moved from house to house for each course. The theme was oriental and this salad was served as an appetizer, but works really well served along with grilled meats.
The dinner party was lots of fun until we got to the last house for dessert and our hostess served us fortune cookies. It was hard to fault her since she said in the beginning, she did not like to be in the kitchen. The funny part was her fortune said “You will lose a good friend if you are not careful”!!
Rice Vermicelli noodles are available in the grocery store in the Oriental section. A gourmet store might have fresh ones, but we are lucky enough to have the dried ones in the box. A little bit of these goes a long way.
After I have soaked the noodles and cooled them, I tend to chop them into slightly smaller pieces by pulling a knife through the noodles. The long noodles are pretty in the serving dish, but I find them a nuisance to eat.
The smaller pieces will blend with the vegetables and herbs and offer more proportion to each serving. It seems like I rarely use the full 4 ounces of noodles that I have prepared since I like a higher mix of herbs with the noodles. It is up to you!
You must use fresh cilantro and fresh basil. The recipe offers quantities, but you could add more of something you like. The blended effect of these vegetables and herbs is amazing. The salty peanuts are the perfect topping.
Use your noodle and this salad is just oodles of fun to make and to eat.
4 ounces Rice Vermicelli noodles
6 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ cup sliced scallions
½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil
½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts
Put the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let the noodles soak until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. They can be placed in a bowl, covered and put in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Whisk the lime juice, soy sauce, peanut butter, brown sugar and vegetable oil in a small bowl until smooth. At this point if desired, sprinkle some red pepper flakes into the dressing and mix. It only takes a shake or two to offer more flavor in the dressing. Pour the dressing over the noodles (whatever quantity you desire) and toss in the chopped vegetables to combine. Season with salt if needed and sprinkle the peanuts over the salad.
Susan Lang makes greeting cards which are for sale at Stephen's Hair & Boutique located at 312 W. Mesquite Blvd. #12 in the Bull Dog Shopping Center. Each card is different and has a message sure to make you laugh and some also come with recipe cards. While you are there, grab a new outfit for dinner!