It's salad season. Let's see, get a head of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, red onions, mushrooms, carrots and tossed with your favorite dressing. Hmmm, let's take it one more step, let me introduce you to Vietnamese Summer Noodle Salad. In Vietnam, the people offer a salad staple that is popular year round during the hot season. The salad is refreshing like all salads are, but the flavor, Hmmm one of a kind. Simple, refreshing flavor. You say what are the ingredients. Ok, you start off with your favorite protein source, whether that be chicken, beef, shrimp or pork. Should be marinated with some fish sauce (highly pungent and salty) but balanced with some brown sugar and a dash of vinegar and water of equal portion for about 30 minutes. For the noodles, there is the regular egg based lo mein noodles which will not be used for this recipe. There is a rice based noodle, very thin tubular shape called Mai Fun. The noodles come packed dried. Need to soak in warm water and you'll notice it absorbs alot of water and becomes pliable. Ok the veggie ingredients, you choice of fresh bean sprouts. Bean Sprouts are must be firm and crispy. The demand in American stores is growing but sometimes when its not selling the bean sprouts cannot be bagged for a long time and then the start to turn brownish, Purchase a pkg that reflects bright white sprouts and feel crunchy, Fresh Herbs: cilantro, (wash it thorughly). Southeast Asian loves to use fresh cilantro and mint (wash thorughly). Cucumber is very popular and is very soothing and cooling to the mouth, shredded carrots and shredded onions add additional crunch, you can add hot pepper flakes for a little zing. Ok slice up the cucumber and meats, Boil water and drop in the mai fun for about 10 seconds (Because the noodles are so thin, they cook quickly) and pull out and rinse under cold water to prevent further cooking of the mai fun, then drain thoroughly. The sauce, ok the same sauce used for the marinade, even portion of fish sauce, even portion of brown sugar and vinegar based on your taste and even amount of water. The water acts to dilute the strong flavors to a more milder stage
Assembly: There are 2 options; Get a decorated bowl, pile high the mai fun like a volcano structure, the add all the ingredients and add met last. Toss the sauce over the entire creation and serve. OR combine all ingredients together is a separate bowl and then pile it high in the decorated bowl or platter. Either way it will look delicious, and every enticing to your palate Chill in refrigerator and your family will simply love it! at www.chefwoocan.com. This dish will be featured very soon at Asian Cafe, Fallston Md.