Spicy Thai Noodle Salad                 back to home

4-6 servings

This spicy salad is great hot weather eating. Most everything can be prepared in advance and then tossed together with the dressing right before serving. I have made this with both pork and shrimp, but grilled chicken or steak would be good as well. This isn’t really much of a recipe-as it is so easy. The sauce is the star here- you can make it as hot as you want. I divide the sauce before adding the red pepper and make a milder and hot batch so everyone will be happy.

For the salad

1 # cooked shrimp or thinly sliced cooked meat of your choice

1  14 ounce box rice noodles- linguine style

1 cup salted peanuts

1/2 bunch cilantro- washed- stems removed

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions- white and light green part

2 cups green beans- trimmed

Cook the noodles according to the directions on the box- usually it involves pouring boiling water over them and letting them soak for 10-15 minutes. Drain the noodles and run cold water over them. Shake off any excess water and then refrigerate.

Bring a large pot of  salted water to boil. Add the beans to the pot and cook for about 5 until tender - but not limp. Start testing with a fork after 3 minutes.

Drain and run cold water over them to stop further cooking.  Pat dry with paper towels- and then refrigerate for later use.

For the sauce

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

2 T fine chopped fresh lemon grass*

3 T  nuoc mam** (fish sauce)

2 T soy sauce

4 cloves garlic- fine minced

1 T fresh ginger root- fine minced

2 T brown sugar

1/4 - 1  t hot red pepper flakes- your choice.

peanut oil

In a saucepan heat the oil to medium- when heated add the ginger and garlic and cook- stirring frequently until it is golden and soft- about 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients- except for the red pepper flakes  and stir to combine. Divide it if you want  and add the desired hotness. Let cool and refrigerate.

To assemble the salad

Put the noodles in a large serving bowl- add the beans, cilantro, scallions,  and the shrimp. Toss with the sauce and sprinkle the peanuts on top- serve with lime wedges

* If using fresh lemongrass peel as you would a scallion. You might have to do a fair amount of peeling to get to the tender inner core- the part you want to use. One stalk will yield about a tablespoon of minced lemon grass. I do like the lemongrass in a tube(below) found in a lot of markets refrigerated in the produce section. It freezes well. It’s got some additives- but it makes this easy recipe even quicker and i find it very acceptable in my humble opinion.

** nuoc man is a Vietnamese fish sauce found in most markets in the Asian food section- if not- try an Southeast Asian speciality market. You can substitute soy- but the nuoc man really gives this dish that extra punch of Southeast flavor.                                                                           

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