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Saigon Noodle Salad

When I lived in Baltimore, I primarily was employed in the restaurant business. I did clean houses as well but there was a lot of restaurants positions on my resume. When I left my employment at the Cafe Hon, I went up the street to a small new cafe called the Golden West Cafe. And Thomas gave me a shot as his first employee and manager of future employees. The place was very hip and Thomas had brought a love of the food he’d experienced in Albuquerque, New Mexico attending college.

The menu included all things green chile. Frito pie and breakfast burritos were bathed in his silky tart green chile sauce. He roasted pork shoulders with red chiles for Carne Adovada and came up with this Vietnamese style rice noodle salad with shrimp that I have continued to make from memory long after I left the café and Baltimore.

I was cruising the Allrecipe.com site last night and found a pretty good rendition of the salad called the Saigon Noodle Salad. The twist that I enjoyed in the Golden West Cafe’s was the addition of sautéed onion slivers. And I throw the shrimp in at the last to cook. You could use sliced chicken or any other meat for that matter. I like shrimp please.  And I’d just go ahead and use romaine lettuce if I didn’t have Napa cabbage. I also used rice wine vinegar because I forgot the lime at the store. Don’t skimp on any other of the ingredients. The herbs pop in your mouth and the peanuts feel good for you. It’s a Summer feast but it was a little warm out and I was in the mood. Appetite is what you dream about making.

Ingredients:
Dressing:
1/4 cup water, or more to taste
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar, or more to
taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha chile sauce
Salad:
1 (8 ounce) package (linguine-width) rice
noodles
2 cups thinly sliced Napa (Chinese)
cabbage
1 1/2 cups matchstick-cut carrots
8 ounces grilled shrimp
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise
and cut into thin slices
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 2/3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 2/3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 2/3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts

Directions:

1. Whisk water, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and Sriracha together in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a full boil; remove from heat and soak rice noodles in the hot water for 1 minute. Stir to separate the noodles and continue soaking until the noodles are tender, about 3 minutes more. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water until cooled. Shake noodles in colander to drain as much water as possible.
3. Mix noodles, cabbage, carrots, shrimp, bean sprouts, cucumber slices, green onions, mint, cilantro, and basil together in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Top with chopped peanuts.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2014 Allrecipes.com

 

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