Beef or Chicken Vietnamese inspired Noodle Salad

This is one of my favourite recipes to make for friends and family! It is so simple and looks fantastic served on a chopping board where everyone can just dig in! So many different colours happening, everyone just wants to get involved. I make it at least once a week at home and I have a few different versions of it so feel free to mix and match as you please.

Serves: 4

1 Lebanese Cucumber
1 Medium Carrot
1 Small Red Capsicum
Snow Peas – a large handful
Bean Sprouts – a handful per person
Coriander and / or Mint – roughly chopped
*Mung Bean Shoots (optional)
80g Peanuts – roughly chopped and toasted in a frypan over low heat
OR 40g Peanuts and 40g Peptita and Sunflower Seeds (about the same calorie content)
Spring Onions – finely sliced for garnish

1/4 Cup Lime Juice
1/4 Fish Sauce
1/4 Cup Palm Sugar – you can use Brown Sugar
Red Chilli – finely chopped – as much or as little as you like
1 clove Garlic – finely chopped
Thumb sized piece of Ginger – finely chopped

Here’s where it gets interesting:
120g Vermicelli Noodles OR 2 Packets **SlimPasta (Angel Hair)
400g Chicken OR Rump Steak – skin / fat removed

Mix all the dressing ingredients together. This gives the sugar a little time to dissolve.Start by adding half the sugar and then adjust to taste. You don’t need to it to be really sweet. It just needs to cut through the acidity of the lime juice.

If you are using chicken:
Put a saucepan on with salted boiling water and add a little of the dressing in. You are going to POACH the chicken.

If you are using beef:
Season the steak with Salt and Pepper, add some extra Garlic, Ginger and Chilli (sometimes I add some Thai seasoning). Put a frypan on heat. Once hot, add the steak and cook to your liking – I prefer medium/rare.

Finely chop up your vegetables.
Cucumber: I normally cut into rounds and then slice the rounds into strips.
Carrot: Julienne to roughly the same size as the cucumber.
Capsicum: Finely slice to the same size as the carrot and cucumber.
This is not a necessity, I just like how it looks when everything is chopped up the same…

Prepare your noodles according to packet instructions.

Either shred your chicken using two forks or slice your steak as finely as your knife skills will allow. Toss through a little of the dressing and let rest – particularly the steak so you can mix it through all the yummy juices!

If you’re serving on a chopping board, mix all your vegetables together in a bowl. Arrange the noodles across the board, then add your vegetables on top. Add your chicken or beef. Scatter over Coriander and Mint. You can either serve your Peanuts/Seeds on top or on the side. Serve the dressing on the side so friends/family can add as much or as little as they like.

If you’re serving in noodle bowls, I like to put my noodles at the bottom, then arrange my vegetables in order of colour around the sides (yes, this is probably the Interior Decorator in me coming out)! Bean Sprouts in the middle, mung bean shoots on the top (if using). Then add your Chicken or Beef, scatter with Coriander, Mint, Spring Onions and Peanuts/Seeds. Drizzle dressing over the top.

For some reason I can’t find a picture of the Chicken version… next time I make it I will update!!
You will make this one as often as I do, I’m sure! It’s easy and versatile and never fails to be fresh and delicious. I can’t believe I haven’t posted it sooner and I apologise to all those people who have been nagging me for the recipe!

*Mung Bean Shoots are available at Woolworths near the bean sprouts – they add a great crunch element!

**SlimPasta is made from a vegetable called Konjac, is very low in calories and works really well in this dish. It’s available at most major supermarkets in the Health Food or Organic sections.

Rump steak with Vermicelli: 370 calories
Rump Steak with SlimPasta:325 calories
Chicken with Vermicelli: 360 calories
Chicken with SlimPasta: 310 calories

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