This is one of my favourite quick and easy summer salads. I use it on its own or as a side dish to bbq’d or grilled meat or fish. It’s great as a bbq salad and what I love about it is that you can play around with the recipe and adapt it to your personal tastes / what you’re cooking at the time.
You can tweak the veg that you’re using and the sauce. You can also play around with how spicy it is by changing the type or quantity of fresh chilli used and also the herbs. I personally love mint, it’s so fresh and goes so well with the sour lime, fish sauce and umami flavours.
I’m a bit of a waste freak so I often adapt the veg side to whatever crunchy veg happens to be kicking around in the fridge, it’s a very forgiving, using up leftovers recipe!
It’s also pretty good in the fridge for a day or two after making, so it’s great to take to work for lunch.
75g (2 nests) of mung bean
vermicelli (I use Brotherhood
1 carrot (peeled)
1/2 a red pepper (deseeded)
1/2 a cucumber
1 handful of sugar snaps or
mangetout (top and tail)
4 spring onions
1/2 a large red chilli (deseeded )
bunch of fresh mint (or coriander if you prefer)
For the sauce
1 tbsp pure sesame oil
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
juice of 2 limes
1 large clove of garlic (or 2 small) minced
3cm piece of fresh ginger finely grated
optional: 1 handful of salted
Making the salad
In a pan of boiling water cook the mung bean vermicelli nests for approximately 3-4 minutes (until soft but not soggy, I like it cooked a bit al dente like spaghetti, if you like it softer, cook it for longer).
Once cooked strain and rinse under cold water to cool quickly and avoid sticking together. Put aside in a large mixing bowl.
Finely slice the carrot, cucumber, spring onion, sugar snaps and pepper into thin strips (no longer than 4cm). You can use any combo of crunchy fresh veg you like here.
De-seed the red chilli and finely dice. You can use smaller bird’s eye chilli’s here if you prefer more heat.
Mix the vegetables into your vermicelli trying to spread them evenly (hands are best for this!)
De-stalk and roughly chop the fresh mint leaves. You can substitute the mint with coriander or you can mix the two, I personally love the fresh taste of mint, it’s so summery. Add the chopped herbs to the mix.
Making the dressing
(Use a dressing bottle if you have one or I actually just use a jar, it does the job perfectly. You need to be able to shake it vigorously so
make sure whatever you use has a lid).
Simply combine all the ingredients into the jar or dressing bottle and give it a good old shake (to dissolve the sugar). Taste and add more lime / soy or sugar to adjust acidity, saltiness or sweetness to your own taste.
Pour over the salad and thoroughly mix (again hands are best I find), distributing the dressing and vegetables evenly amongst the noodles.
Finally, chop and scatter the salted peanuts over the top.
Serve with bbq or grilled meat or fish or on its own. It can be served straight away but equally can be stored in the fridge until needed, but make sure to get it out 15-20 minutes before serving and give it another thorough mix. If refrigerating before serving add the nut garnish just before you serve.