Southeast Asian Noodle Salad

On my first visit to Southeast Asia many years ago, what most impressed me was the use of exotic and fascinating combinations of ingredients such as coconut milk, limes, fish sauce and herbs such as basil, all of which were foreign to my tradition. I have since become familiar with these and other once strange ingredients, and my experiments have led me to some very delectable results, as with this light lunch or supper noodle dish, which includes an aromatic combination of splendid tastes and colours.

Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) flat rice noodles
  • 2 spring onions
  • 50 g (2 oz) mangetout
  • 50 g (2 oz) carrots
  • 100 g (4 oz) bean sprouts

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons chilli oil
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons fresh or tinned coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • grated rind of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
  • tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Method

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, remove from the heat and add the rice noodles. Leave to stand for about 15 minutes, then drain and immerse them in cold water until required.

Finely shred the spring onions, mangetout and carrots. Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the bean sprouts, spring onions, mangetout and carrots for 1 minute. Immerse immediately in cold water, drain and set aside.

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing mixture. Drain the noodles thoroughly and toss them with the dressing mixture and the vegetables. Garnish with the peanuts and serve within 3 hours.

Garnish

  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
,