Crispy Noodle Salad

I first enjoyed this salad, called Mee Krob, in a rather unpretentious restaurant in Bangkok. There are a number of different variations on the crispy noodle salad theme, with many people preferring a sweet and sour salad. At home, I set out to recreate the combination of textures, flavours and colours that had most impressed me in Thailand, and this recipe is my favourite — a beautifully arranged salad platter that is dressed and tossed at the last minute. Such a salad is ideal as a starter for any meal.

Ingredients

  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) oil, preferably groundnut, for deep-frying
  • 100 g (4 oz) rice noodles, rice vermicelli or rice sticks

Sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese white vinegar or cider vinegar

Method

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or wok until moderately hot. Deep-fry the noodles until crispy and puffed up. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. You may have to do this in several batches. (Leave the oil in the deep-fat fryer or wok as you will need it for the beancurd.)

Cut the beancurd into 1 cm (½ in) cubes. Re-heat the oil until very hot and deep-fry the beancurd cubes until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Place the crispy noodles on a serving platter and garnish attractively with the beancurd, bean sprouts, spring onions, chilli and coriander. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and mix well.

Garnish

  • 100 g (4 oz) beancurd
  • 100 g (4 oz) bean sprouts
  • 3 spring onions, shredded
  • 1 fresh chilli, shredded
  • fresh coriander sprigs
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