This lovely noodle salad makes a gorgeous lunch on its own  or add some fish, chicken, prawns, beef etc for a satisfying and healthy  evening meal.  As with all Asian style food it is an explosion of flavour from the first bite and it only gets better from there……

Prep time:  30 mins             Cooking time: 3 mins                $ Low budget

Serves 4

200gm rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to packet instructions

1 small red onion,  halved and finely sliced top to bottom

2 spring onions, ends removed and sliced diagonally

1 lebanese cucumber, halved and deseeded, sliced diagonally*

1 punnet of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

150gm of snow peas, topped and sliced diagonally

1 cup of bean shoots

1 cup of coriander leaves

1/2 cup of mint leaves

1/2 cup of vietnamese mint leaves (substitute for normal mint if you can’t get it)

1 long red chilli, sliced (deseeded if you can’t handle the heat!)

2 tbs of fried shallots*

For the Dressing:

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup of white vinegar

2 tbs of soy

1 tbs of fish sauce

1 tbs of brown sugar

Juice of 1 lime

Boil the kettle and place the snow peas in a small bowl.  Pour enough boiling water to cover them, push them into the water with a spoon and allow to stand for 2-3 minutes.  Drain and run under cold water.

In a small bowl or jar combine the ingredients for the dressing and shake or whisk well to emulsify.  Have a taste and adjust if necessary.  You should have the perfect balance of sweet, salty and sour.

In a large bowl toss the noodles, cucumber, tomatoes, snow peas, onion, spring onions, bean sprouts, herbs and chilli.  Pour in half the dressing and toss well to combine.  Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and sprinkle with the fried shallots.  Serve immediately with the remainder of the dressing on the side…..

* To deseed the cucumber, cut it in half lengthways and run a teaspoon down the centre.  Fried shallots can be found in the Asian section of the supermarket.