Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
5 cloves garlic
1 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
½ jalapeno pepper
seeded and minced
3 tablespoons white sugar
¼ cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons vegetarian fish sauce
1 (12 ounce) package dried rice noodles
halved lengthwise and chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
4 leaves napa cabbage
¼ cup unsalted peanuts
4 sprigs fresh mint
Mince the garlic with the cilantro and the hot pepper. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the lime juice, fish sauce or salt and sugar; stir well. Let the sauce sit for 5 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rice noodles; boil them for 2 minutes. Drain well. Rinse the noodles with cold water until they have cooled. Let them drain again.
Combine the sauce, noodles, carrots, cucumber, mint and Napa cabbage in a large serving bowl. Toss well and serve the salad garnished with the peanuts and mint sprigs.
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