Sweet, heat, sour, and salt. This little salad packs it all! The thin rice noodles just soak in boiled water for 5 minutes, meaning no cooking, other than turning on the kettle.
The combination of simple ingredients with rice noodles make this a gluten free dish. To make this a completely vegan dish, you can leave out the fish sauce and add 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce or more to taste. We find the depth of the traditional fish sauce really adds to the dish and are just not all that fond of soy sauce or products.
Juice of 3 limes + 1 lime for serving
2 tablespoons palm sugar OR substitute brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
4 tablespoons fish sauce (we like Red Boat because there are no unnecessary additives)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 green onions (use the white and about 1/2 of the green section)
1 package thin rice noodles (usually around 8 ounces)
2 carrots, sliced fine / julienned
1 sweet red pepper, sliced fine / julienned
1 cucumber, sliced fine / julienned
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint + a few leaves for serving
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro + a few leaves for serving
2/3 cup salted peanuts
Combine all ingredients, reserving the single lime for serving, and let sit for a few minutes to liquify sugar and let flavors combine.
Boil about 6 cups of water
Place dry noodles in large glass or heatproof bowl.
Pour boiled water over noodles, covering noodles completely under water and let sit for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, drain noodles completely.
Add carrots and red pepper to hot noodles and toss for 2 minutes with dressing, letting the heat slightly soften the crisp of the vegetables.
Add chopped herbs, reserving sprigs for serving and toss for another minute.
Add cucumber and toss.
Add 1/2 the peanuts and toss quickly.
Chill for 30 minutes before serving.
To serve, top entire salad or individual servings with the remaining herbs, the other 1/2 of the peanuts and the remaining lime, cut into 4-6 wedges.