You know what I love the most about East Asian food? It's the simplicity. Light bright and easy. Like this noodle salad. I was craving an asian fix and wasn't really in the mood to order anything in so instead, I made this noodle salad. You can acttually have it warm or cold, as a side dish or as a main dish.
I think it's a super easy and impressive dish to make for a light lunch option for guests. And, imagine washing this down with a crisp cold beer on a hot day....absolute BLISS!!
500g tiger prawns (you can opt to have then shell on or shell off)
300g 3mm rice noodles
1/2 cup sesame oil
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 bunches spring onion, thinly sliced diagonally
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 thumb of ginger, minced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 large cucumber
1 large carrot
For the sesame dressing
20 grams sesame seeds
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs dark soy sauce
Start by soaking your rice noodles in cold water to soften and rehydrate them.
Next, using the larger holes of a grater, grate your carrot and cucumber lengthways so you get long ribbons. (I find this method way easier than trying to julienne the veg) Set the vegetable aside once done and move on to making the sesame dressing. Put the sesame seeds and about half of the water into a blender and blend until it forms a thick paste. Add the rest of the water, salt, fish sauce and soy sauce and lightly blend and then set aside. If the dressing seems too thick, you can loosen it up with some water.
As your noodles continue to soak, add the garlic, ginger, salt and chili to the prawns making sure to mix well.
Heat up your pan and add about 1/2 of the sesame oil and all of the vegetable oil. Once the pan gets hot, not smoking, fry the prawns for a minute on each side or until their flesh turns opaque and set aside.
Check that the noodles have softened. Drain the cold water and add boiling water to the noodles and let them boil for roughly 3 minutes or until the noodles are al dente and opaque in colour. Quickly drain the water and then put the noodles under cold water to stop them cooking. Drain the cold water and add 3 tablespoons of sesame oil to the noodles and mix well making sure the noodles are all coated.
Add the sesame paste to the noodles and mix well, then add the cucumber and carrots and mix.
Plate your noodles and top with your cooked prawns. Garnish with spring onion and serve with a side of fresh lime.