I love, love salads. I grew up eating A LOT of salads when I was a kid in Burma (that was before I turned 13. (More of my story you can find here!)
Yesterday, I went to the market (and yes, there will be many market posts, cuz, well, I enjoy going to the market). One of the ingredients I got was rice noodles. As described in my other post, the noodles are fresh and made daily.
So I got all the ingredients I needed to make the noodle salad.
Here’s how I made it. Remember, I do not measure any ingredients. I simply make my dishes by instinct, intuition and of course, based on taste. The mixture in a dish- the aroma and the taste is an art. Therefore, my dishes do not have exact measurements.
- I used perhaps 1/2 kilo of noodles maybe a bit more (this can be thick rice noodles or even egg noodles)
- Tamarind paste or puree (if you have it, if not use limes. Tamarind adds an entirely different flavor though)
- Fish sauce (start with a teaspoon and add more as needed)
- Sugar as needed (take the edge off of the tartness or the acidity of tamarind)
- Fried garlic
- Fried onion w/ oil
- Toasted chick-peas flour *(Burmese salads usually have this ingredient and it tastes great. I’ve not found this at the market yet so I omitted it today. I’m still in search though! It acts as a thickener in the salad).
The thinly sliced onions deep-fried in oil, with a dash of turmeric. Remove onions when it is golden brown and place them on paper towels, and cool the oil for use later.
- Thinly sliced cucumbers
- Leaf lettuce (chopped)
- Green beans (blanched and diced)
- Tomatoes (thinly sliced)
- Lime as needed
- Don’t forget chilies!
In this salad, I also added the tomato, garlic, onion paste I made a few days ago.
Add the veggies (cucumbers, green beans, and tomatoes to the noodles). Add tamarind sauce, fish sauce, squeeze lime (easy on the tamarind if you’re using lime also), oil from the fried onions.
Another way to make this, is to mix the sauce first. Add fish sauce, tamarind, lime juice and sprinkles of sugar together to your liking. Taste it and make sure you like the balance of the flavors. Remember, when the sauce is added to the noodles and veggies, it will be diluted and taste will be lighter. So make it a bit stronger.
Now, once sauce is made, add that to the noodles and veggies, Mix it thoroughly, but gently. Also add the cold oil from the fried onions. Make sure it is to the taste of your liking and adjust as appropriate. A tiny more tamarind puree? More squeeze of lime or more of fish sauce or sprinkles of sugar?
You could even add ground dry shrimp if you like. I’ve done that before, but not this time.
Once that is done, sprinkle the cut lettuce on top of the salad. Now, sprinkle fried onions and the fried garlic. And it is ready for consumption. If you do not have any thin rice noodles, you could substitute with thick rice noodles or egg noodles.
Remember the sauce is the key! You could add the tomato, onion, garlic paste to the mix or use it as a side condiment and eat it with your salad. It’s up to you!
Now it’s your turn. Come experiment with me and create a noodles salad to enjoy with family and friends.
Until the next post, cheers from Chiang Mai, Thailand.