Such a refreshing salad to make for dinner or lunch on a warm day! It must be the cooling effects of the mint! To change things up, you could use Thai basil instead of the mint. This salad would go really well with Thai chicken wings, Asian barbecued ribs or Thai flavoured chicken patties wrapped in a butter lettuce leaf served with a Nuoc Cham dipping sauce.
¼ cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 Tbsp. palm or golden brown sugar
½ sweet onion (such as Vidalia), thinly sliced, separated into rings
8 oz. medium size dried Thai rice noodles
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1Tbsp. Thai Fish Sauce
½ tsp. dried chili flakes or 1 small Thai chili, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint (I use less, but to your taste)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large English cucumber, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 (12 oz.) fresh plum tomatoes, seeded & chopped or an equal amount of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp. chopped lightly salted peanuts
1 – 1 ½ cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed (opt.)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Make the Salad:
About 30 minutes or up to 4 hours ahead, whisk vinegar & sugar in a medium bowl to blend. Add onion rings & toss to coat; cover & let stand. Just before making the salad, drain & reserve the liquid.
Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse Under cold water; drain well.
**The method I use is to place the noodles in a large heat-proof bowl & pour boiling water over them, stirring with tongs, then allow to stand anywhere from 5 minutes up to 10, checking often to make sure until they are al dente, drain noodles well & rinse as above.
Whisk lime juice, oil & crushed chili flakes or fresh minced chili in a small bowl to blend. Stir in the mint & cilantro. Place the noodles in a large bowl, drizzle with 2 Tbsp. of the reserved onion juice & toss to coat. Add cucumber, green onions, tomatoes & marinated onions; drizzle the lime juice mixture over & toss gently. Season to taste with salt & pepper; sprinkle with the chopped peanuts, serve immediately.
Click here for the link to the Thai chicken patties.