Monday, September 17, 2012

Spicy Rice Noodle Salad – Strange But Chew

The first time I had a spicy, cold rice noodle salad, it wasn’t the bold flavors that caught me by surprise, but the strange and addictive texture. It was so different to any pasta salad I’d ever had before, that I was kind of bummed I hadn’t known about this stuff sooner. Makes me sad to think about all the time back I wasted on those stupid, tri-color fusilli salads.

Anyway, this is pretty easy and delicious stuff. I’m not even sure these noodles are technically cooked, but simply softened in very hot water to your personal preference of tenderness. You can, and many do, boil this stuff like pasta for a couple minutes, and have what’s much closer to a proper al dente angel hair, but I much prefer the toothsomeness you get using the hot water method. 

Unlike undercooked wheat flour pastas, this isn’t a gummy, crunch, but much more of a “pop” or “snap” as your teeth break through the almost tender noodles. Once soaked with the vibrant dressing, and topped with the optional, but highly recommended grilled chicken, you have a change-of-pace lunch that will be the talk of the water cooler.

Speaking of the chicken, all you’ll need to do is double the dressing recipe, and pour half over some boneless skinless chicken thighs (or any other cut). Let sit out, marinating for 30 minutes, and then grill to caramelized perfection. I hope you give this great spicy rice noodle salad a try soon. Enjoy!

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Ingredients for 2 large servings:
1 package (6.25 oz) thin rice noodle (soaked in almost boiling water until desired tenderness, rinsed, drained thoroughly)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 or 2 tbsp samal or other ground chili sauce
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup carrot julienne
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup packed mixture of chopped basil, mint, and cilantro
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 tsp sesame oil
Optional:
6 grilled boneless skinless chicken thighs
sliced Fresno chilies

View the complete recipe

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm off to the shop to pick up everything I need to cook this tonight! Greetings from Waikiki!

Anonymous said...

You can also add a little peanut butter into the sauce.
Or you can dilute the peanut butter with some green tea and add it to the salad at the end.

shirsureok said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shirsureok said...

Hi Chef John! One way I've learned how to use rice noodles are for leftover Asian dishes that have a lot of sauce. I just reheat the sauce on a stove with some water until it simmers, back the heat down and add the noodles in dry. That way when the noodles soften, they get to soak up the yummy sauce and flavors.

My Chinese parents do this all the time (and maybe you already know of this) but I just wanted to share this with you :)

inchrisin said...

Hi John,

I'm curious why you use 180F water to make your noodles instead of boiling or tepid water here. You did everything but explain WHY? :)

I'm under the impression that you like to double-up on your time so you can make everything else on the side--Or is there a texture difference in the way you cook the noodles vs how others cook them? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Chef John, what are your thoughts on Chili infused Sesame oils? Is it sacrilegious/too cheap to get two flavors precombined

donna mikasa said...

This looks so good, can't wait to try it!

Chef John said...

i'm for anything that tastes good! :)

Chef John said...

just like the texture better with that temp! not too soft, not too firm, just right.

Anonymous said...

sounds good, i havn't tried it with rice vinegar, but instead used water down lime juice, this has been always a good go to recipe for a quick dinner.

eve+line said...

Some fried shallots would be nice at the end! The recipe looks delicious!

eve+line said...

Oh and perhaps shredded egg omelete too! It's quite customary on fried beehoon (rice vermicelli or what you called rice noodles).

Chef John said...

All great ideas! Yes, I love citrus in this too, just like to vary btwn vinegar and combos.

helmut said...

chef john. peanuts cause me to die, is there something i can add instead of peanuts.

greeting from ballvereinborussiadortmundneunzehnhundertundneun.

Anonymous said...

Yummy, Nice recipes Chef John

thank you very much
regards
Bram

Dela Hashim said...

Chef John, this is called Bee-Hoon in my country, and yup, it is the same thing because they're practically the rice noodles! in my country we could just stir-fry them with seafood and little bit of chili paste, and voila!! the most delicious rice noodles recipe you will ever have :)

Unknown said...

Chef John you're awesome! Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

chef, where i live if they sell fish sauce i would have no way of finding out. so...can i make fish sauce??

Chef John said...

Maybe, but I have no idea how!

Adriana @ FoodCocktail said...

I'm a fan of rice noodles. But I think 15 minutes in almost boiling water is a bit too much, unless the instructions on your package said so.
I keep mine in hot water for no more than 5-6 minutes, following the instructions, and they are just perfect.
Anyway, this seems like a great recipe, although I don't really like the taste of fresh cilantro.

Anonymous said...

Made it for lunch today and really enjoyed it! Used linguine style rice noodles and topped it with large shrimp!

Anonymous said...

I made this and it was DELICIOUS!!!
Thanks Chef John!

George said...

Hey chef John, how did you prepare the chicken for the grill?

Chef John said...

Check last paragraph! Busted! ;)

Anonymous said...

my new motto: if chef john hasn't done a video on it, i don't eat it! please marry me, chef. while you're thinking that over, answer me this. How far in advance can i make this, dress it and let it sit? can i make the day before?

Chef John said...

Would get a little dry overnight. Why not just make dress ahead, and toss the next day?

Anonymous said...

Made it last night. Used the boneless chicken thighs and marinated them overnight before bbq'ing. Fantastic. Thx Chef John!

Anonymous said...

re: peanut allergy
Why not try sunflower seeds in place of the peanuts?

I, too, have a peanut allergy; have substituted sunflower seeds and sun butter, instead of peanuts and peanut butter in anything calling for peanuts. Sun butter (sunflower seed butter) tastes very similar to peanut butter.

The recipe sounds great!

Anonymous said...

Just tried this and it was really nice. Yet another recipe that is delicious. Thanks Chef John.

Kevin Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin Clarke said...

Hi Chef John,

Managed to get hold of some fresh vermicelli rice noodles for this, how should I adjust the prep for this?
Many many thanks, and keep making the videos - love them

cheers
K

Chef John said...

Sorry but fresh doesn't work here since you need the chewiness from the soaked dry noodles. Fresh will be too soft and tender. Just make pasta!

Kevin Clarke said...

Ohh the cruelty of it all, the one time I manage to get fresh but dried is better!

Thanks Anyways Chef John - keep up the awesome work -
Muchos love From Hertfordshire, England

Birder said...

Hi Chef, two questions:

1) If I was to use the type of rice noodle for pho (a bit than vermicelli), could you suggest an approximate soaking time that would be appropriate, or would it not work without boiling them first?

2)I've learned from your lessons that one should never rinse pasta, so what is the reason for doing it here? Very curious about that!

Thanks for your help, and great lesson as usual.

Chef John said...

You rinse here or it gets gummy. Can't give time for the first ? sorry!

Billy Graves said...

Mmmm. This was amazing and now I'm making it again, two days later. I totally needed another hit. Is there a reason that you can't add the sesame oil to the bowl with the other wet ingredients?

Chef John said...

Yes add it any time! Thanks!

Nise said...

I've made this several times since it was posted and it's yummy, just quirky enough to create a taste and texture I crave once in a while.

Sandy said...

This was great, and made even more delicious with a squeeze of lime juice at the end. This marks the first time I've ever cooked with Thai fish sauce. I've always been intimidated because I know it's extremely pungent straight out of the bottle, but in the context of this sauce it was amazing.

momobug said...

Chef, I have made many of your dishes and all have been enjoyed by my family so I must thank you. When I made this today, my athlete daughter, chewed and no talk because she loved it! Keep the asian cooking coming! Love it!