Fast, Fresh, Fun: Vietnamese Noodle Salad

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I haven’t posted in an age…hectic end of term teaching and then on holiday lushing it up in Morocco. I would LOVE to post images of amazing Moroccan tagines, full of sweet fruit and heady spice, but the honest truth is it was an all inclusive, lie-around-drinking-cocktails-and-overindulging holiday, so the culture was pretty limited.

Since I’ve been back, I’ve been desperate to eat healthily and cut back to fresh, simple ingredients with tons of flavour. Kind of a food lovers detox if you will. Without anything involving the words ‘grass’ ‘germ’ or ‘seed’. This salad is adapted from a JOliver recipe. SO healthy and so refreshing, but with giant flavours that will give you a big smack in the mouth …in a good way. The key is the five spice and lime juice, it gives it a smokey, sweet but sharp and zingy flavour, while the peanuts add a distinctly Asian texture.

I like to make it before I go the gym and then gobble it down afterwards, feeling like I’m in a health food advert.

  • 300 g cellophane noodles/1 pack instant stir fry rice noodles
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 2 heaped teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 100 g cooked peeled prawns (smaller are better)
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 handfuls roasted peanuts

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Put all these cold salad ingredients into a large bowl and add the fish sauce and lime juice.

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Heat the oil in a hot pan. Add the five spice, then the ginger, sugar and garlic mix. Fry for one minute then add the prawns and coat in the aromatic mix for 2 minutes until juicy and tender. Add the noodles and heat through for a minute, stirring through the mixture. Doesn’t look great now but it will!!

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Et Voila! Make extra because you WILL want seconds. And why shouldn’t you?! It’s probably still only 2 calories…

Easily adapted to vegetarian/vegan diets, just leave the prawns out, obvs.

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