This is just one of those salads that works as a side dish or as a main entrée topped with grilled chicken, shrimp, or Bacon Confit. The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better the flavor. It’s great for picnics, too.
In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar. Set the sauce aside.
While the water is coming to a boil, cook the bacon in a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat until crisp and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.
Add the onion to the rendered fat, increase the heat to high, and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and chiles and cook for 1 minute.
Add the noodles, the bell pepper, and half of the sauce and cook, stirring and separating the noodles, until they are coated in the sauce. Taste and add more sauce if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours. Stir in the basil just before serving and transfer to a large, shallow bowl or platter. Garnish with fried shallots and peanuts, if desired, before serving.
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