Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vermicelli Salad

Life is strange sometimes. About twenty years ago I worked with a very unpleasant man, I still think about him quite often as he was responsible for introducing me to real Vietnamese food. One staff meeting day he suggested we all go to Lunch at a restaurant called Mina's and that we try the Special Chicken Vermicelli. What a revelation, i don't think I had ever eaten anything like this, full of fresh herbs, mint, coriander, fish sauce, crisp vegetables, delicious chicken and vermicelli noodles. I've eaten this dish at Vietnamese restaurants all over the place now, including Cabramatta, Vietnam and London and    I still think that Mina's in Campbelltown has the best version! Every now and again if I happen to be back in that area I pop in to try it.
As I don't live in the city however I have been experimenting with how to make this salad for many years now.
What I have found works is to soak the noodles in boiling water for about ten minutes, pile on a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs and whatever else you have to hand and make a sauce to pour over just before serving.
The other night I had duck eggs I wanted to use, as I had just found about twelve of them, I'd thought the ducks had stopped laying.
I whisked two duck eggs with a tablespoon of water and a handful of shredded mint and cooked this in a hot frypan for a few minutes to make a thin omelet. I then rolled this up and cut it into strips.
I soaked the noodles as above.
Shredded some iceberg lettuce, sliced a fresh zucchini into ribbons, including the flower, sliced a nice fresh whit onion finely, and added big handfuls of mint and basil plus a few leaves of Vietnamese mint.
I piled all this in a bowl and poured over a sauce made of lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, finely grated chili and garlic, basil and a bit of water. You just have to keep tasting until the balance is right for you. This one was quite spicy!
Delicious. a really refreshing summer salad.

1 comment:

Zoe Heath said...

I have Vermicelli at least once a week and i have introduced at least three other people to it. They all love it now as much as i do.

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