Monday, 20 June 2011

Thai Noodle Salad

On the one hand I love spending hours in the kitchen preparing meals for the family and then somedays I want to be able to prepare something that requires minimal input. Not much time or inclination to be in the kitchen today and as a result made this Thai noodle salad for Seren, my youngest daughter. She loves stir fry but not too keen on salads so I took a bit of a risk. She was very enthusiastic about the ingredients that I was putting in it as I got her to shell a few fresh peas and broad beans. Most children love spicy foods and this salad is just that and beautifully fragrant as well. Seren ate about half of it and says it was "ok but needs improving". I on the other hand thought it was stunning!

My 'other' children had sausage dinner with onion gravy today. The only element of it that I need to work on or source is the sausages. At best a good pork sausage is hard to beat if made with quality ingredients and at worst they represent all that is wrong with the food industry. We are working our way from the latter to the former and I will return to the matter of sausages another time.

Thai Noodle Salad

Thai food is characterised by vibrant colours, a variety of textures and flavours that are hot, salty, sour and sweet and my opinion is one of the great cuisines of the world. This salad encapsulates all of those senses. Do not restrict yourself to the vegetables i've used - use what you like (mango is good). However, to ensure a Thai flavour use the dressing ingredients I've listed and also the herbs to give a beautiful fragrance.

Serves 2, take 3 minutes and costs around £1.20 per portion

200g cold ready cooked rice noodles
1/2 red pepper, finely sliced
handful of shelled peas and broad beans
small piece of cucumber, cut into quaters
small handful of coriander, chopped
3 mint leaves, chopped
1/4 red chilli, chopped
small handful of nuts (dry fry in a pan for 2 mins with a pinch of salt)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp caster sugar
few dashes of sesame oil

1) In a large bowl put all the dressing ingredients together and stir to dissolve the sugar
2) Add all the other ingredients and toss together. Leave for 10 minutes for the flavours to mingle. Simple as that!

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