The world is upside down at the moment and while we are trying to make sense of everything that’s happening, we could also try to remain calm and try so use this time in “isolation” to do stuff that enrich us in some way. On top of work (for those who are still fortunate enough to have a job through these tough times), we can also spend some time exercising, practicing mindfulness/meditation, learning a language, cooking, drawing, reading and perhaps challenging ourselves to spend a little less time on social media and a little more time doing something that will make our lives better.
I’ve personally been trying to spend my time doing different things that will keep this constant anxiety at bay and cooking is one of them. With this in mind, I decided to share some of the recipes I have been trying while I am in self-quarantine. I hope you like them!
My first recipe is a Vietnamese noodle salad. I became absolutely hooked with this when I went to Vietnam 3 years ago and it’s super easy to make. This is my version of the recipe though but I can assure you, it is DELICIOUS! I am Vegetarian so I usually add on crispy tofu on top. I didn’t have any yesterday (the grocery stores are empty from all the panic shopping), so we just had it without the protein, but you can add shrimps or chicken if you want.
VIETNAMESE NOODLE SALAD. ( portion for 2 people )
-Rice noodles ( aprox. 400 grams )
-Two or three large shredded carrots
-Half of a large cucumber (cut in super thin slices)
-2 handfuls of soybean sprouts
-1 handful of chopped coriander leaves
-1 handful of chopped mint leaves
-1 handful of peanuts ( I usually buy the teriyaki flavoured peanuts )
-1 tablespoon of sesame seeds ( I use black sesame seeds )
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:
-1/2 cup of rice vinegar
-1/2 cup of fish sauce
-3 tea spoons of brown sugar
-1 clove of minced garlic
-1/4 teaspoon of chilli flakes
-1/3 cup of chopped coriander
– Cook the rice noodles for about 4 minutes (check constantly to make sure they don’t over cook as they are usually ready very quickly).
– Once the noodles are ready, rinse them under cold water, drain well and separate them in two separate bowls (or more if you are making the salad for more people, just make sure to adjust the proportions as my ingredient list are only for two people)
Now on to the vinaigrette ( I make the vinaigrette first so I can leave the cucumbers soaking in it for about 10 minutes).
– Pour the rice vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar into a bowl (make sure you stir until the sugar melts into the liquid), after that add the minced garlic, chilli flakes, coriander and sesame seeds. Throw the cucumber slices into the vinaigrette for about 10/15 minutes so they pickle a bit.
-Once the cucumbers are ready and tasty, its time for plating!
-Over the rice noodles, add a handful of shredded carrots, a bunch of soybean sprouts, a bunch of cucumbers and a handful of coriander and mint leaves chopped together.
-Pour the vinaigrette to taste (I add about 6/7 spoons to each plate because I love the taste so much), to top it all off, add a bunch of crushed peanuts to taste and THAT’S IT!
*You can add any protein you like on top. We usually add crispy tofu but grilled shrimps would also be AMAZING.
Make sure you put some love into the vinaigrette because its what will give flavour to your salad and enjoy!
Let me know if you try this and hope and if you do, make sure you tag me so I can check it out!