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Vietnamese Style Noodle Salad

Vietnamese Style Noodle Salad
Vietnamese Style Noodle Salad

This salad is proof that healthy food can be outrageously delicious. The flavours are punchy, zingy and zesty and the textures are brilliantly crunchy and crispy. It’s a party in your mouth.
It helps to have a ribbon peeler to prepare the veg for this, but you can pick one up very cheaply. If you can’t get hold of one, a sharp knife and little patience will do the same job.

Ingredients
Method

Before you start

Tofu press or 2 clean tea towels and a weight • Large frying pan • Line a plate with kitchen paper • Small frying pan • Kettle boiled

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 280g firm tofu
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 romaine lettuce 30g fresh coriander 10g fresh mint
  • 1 fresh red chilli 200g rice vermicelli
  • noodles salt
  • vegetable oil, for frying

For the dressing

  • 5cm piece fresh ginger 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes 4 tbsp light soy sauce 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil

To serve

  • 1 lime
  • 25g salted peanuts

Method

  1. 1.

    Cook the tofu • Press the tofu for at least 10 minutes using the tofu press or for at least 30 minutes placed between two clean tea towels with a heavy weight on top • Place the pressed tofu on its side and cut it lengthways into 4 sheets • Pour oil into the large frying pan until it’s 1cm deep and place over a medium heat • Lay the tofu sheets in the hot oil and fry on both sides until golden brown and crispy • Transfer to the plate lined with kitchen paper to drain • Cut the tofu sheets into matchsticks • Season with a little salt and set aside

    Prepare the vegetables and herbs • Peel, trim and shred the carrots into matchsticks • Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, scoop out the watery seeds and cut into matchsticks • Trim the spring onions, cut them into 5-cm lengths and finely slice • Cut the lettuce lengthways into quarters and cut out the white centres • Shred the leaves • Pick the herb leaves, discard the mint stems and finely slice the coriander stems • Trim and finely slice the chilli • Cut the lime into wedges

    Prepare the peanuts • Put the peanuts in a dry pan and fry over a medium heat until golden

    Cook the noodles • Place the noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 8 minutes • Drain and return to the mixing bowl • Cover with cold water and leave to soak for 1 minute • Drain

    Make the dressing • Peel and finely grate the ginger and garlic • Add to a small bowl along with the rest of the dressing ingredients • Stir to combine

    Build the salad • Put the carrot, cucumber, spring onion, lettuce, half the coriander, half the mint and three quarters of the dressing into a bowl and toss to coat • Divide between serving bowls • Sprinkle over the remaining herbs, the chopped red chilli and toasted peanuts • Drizzle over the remaining dressing • Top with the tofu matchsticks and serve immediately with lime wedges