Vietnamese (ish) noodle salad + lemongrass dressing

So I’m flying to Toronto on Thursday and there is so much to do!! Presents to find, and copious amounts of Dutch goodies to buy, and cards to write, and TONS of work to finish… And in truly excellent timing, the upstairs neighbours started a renovation project last week! (If you follow me on Snapchat – username feastwithsophie – you’re heard/seen me whine about this already :P)

But I am so so soooo EXCITED!!
Last week we brought home a mini Christmas tree and since then we’ve decorated it, and things are starting to feel really festive around here. I may or may not be listening to the Hilary Duff Christmas album on Spotify right now… (I think at this point I’ve established my love of cheesy pop music!)

Vietnamese noodle salad + lemongrass dressing

This Vietnamese-inspired noodle salad with lemongrass dressing has been all I’ve been craving lately – it’s loaded with crunchy veggies and tons of fresh mint & coriander, and it’s super zesty and vibrant thanks to the dressing. I think my body is trying to get in as many raw veggies as it can before I head to Toronto and begin the stuffing-my-face palooza that is Christmas (and in complete honest my life).

One thing I can’t wait to devour? Pho – give me all the pho!! My sister √Čvelyne is the one who introduced me to this goodness a few years ago, and since then it’s become a little tradition of ours to go out for lunch and feast on this deliciousness whenever I’m in the city. Toronto has TONS of Vietnamese restaurants, but my favourite is the first one I ever tried: Mimi’s on Gerrard. It’s welcoming and unassuming and super cheap and just always delicious. And their vegetarian pho is A+. Whenever we go, we get those delicious rice paper rolls with fresh mint and peanut dressing – heavenly – and we try out different fun drinks. I’m partial to the black bean & coconut one!

Vietnamese noodle salad + lemongrass dressing

Vietnamese noodle salad + lemongrass dressing

A couple years ago Toronto was hit by a big ice storm and we were without power for a few days (some people were out for a week!). It being winter, it was in the minuses and freezing cold, and the temperature in the house was dropping rapidly. So we got into the car, manoeuvred all of the broken branches and general debris littering the streets of the city, and spent the better part of the afternoon at Mimi’s, taking turns charging our phones/electronics and ordering plate after plate of deliciousness.

Vietnamese noodle salad + lemongrass dressing

So on that reminiscent note, I’ll leave you guys with this easy-peasy recipe and get to work. Hope you all have a wonderful Monday/whatever day it is when you’re reading this! And if you’re thinking this doesn’t look like a very festive recipe, check out my 5 ingredient Christmas cookies – so easy and fairly healthy! Until you eat the entire batch, that is…

xx Sophie

Vietnamese (ish) noodle salad + lemongrass dressing

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 portions

Vietnamese (ish) noodle salad + lemongrass dressing

Ingredients

For the lemongrass dressing
1 stalk lemon grass, minced (see notes)*
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp honey
juice of 2 limes (about 4 tbsp)
1 chili pepper, de-seeded and minced (optional)
For the salad
2 portions noodles of choice, cooked according to package instructions - glass noodles or rice noodles work best in my experience
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cucumber, deseeded and cut into matchsticks
2 handfuls of bean sprouts
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
handful of peanuts
big handful each of fresh mint and coriander, roughly chopped

Instructions

For the lemongrass dressing
1. Over the stove on a medium heat, bring the soya sauce and the lime juice to a simmer with the lemon grass. (You can also do this in the microwave if you prefer!) As soon as everything simmers, remove from the heat and whisk in the other ingredients. You could also skip the heating part and just whisk everything together, but I find that warming the lemongrass releases more of its flavour that simply eating it raw.
For the salad
1. Divide everything into two bowls, starting with the noodles and the carrot & cucumber, then topping off with the avocado, the peanuts, the bean sprouts and the fresh herbs. Pour the dressing over the top, then get in there and enjoy!

Notes

This salad was very much inspired by Anna Jones's herb bun cha in her lovely book A modern way to cook

*To use lemongrass: peel off the outer leaves of the stalk. The bottom half to 1/3 of the stalk is the best bit for consuming - it should be pale and softer than the outer, woodier leaves. Chop off the top half until you're left with only that softer, pale part of the stalk. Then slice in half length-wide and mince.

http://feastwithsophie.com/index.php/2015/12/14/vietnamese-ish-noodle-salad-lemongrass-dressing/