Vietnamese Meatball and Noodle Salad
I love Vietnamese dishes, the mounds of fresh herbs, the sweet-sour-spicy mix of nuoc cham and that slightly charred, burnt caramel taste of fried shallots. If you’ve made a batch of meatballs from the albondigas recipe and have a bunch of them stored in the freezer, this would be one of the easiest and quickest meals to make.
Heat up the meatballs in a pan with bit of oil (or if you’re really in a hurry nuke them) but it’s nice to have that crisp that comes from refrying them. Add them to some cooked and cooled rice noodles and top with a generous amount of the following:
- julienned carrots
- spring onions cut into 2-3 inches pieces
- some thinly sliced red onions (if you like onions)
- fresh basil leaves
- fresh dill
- fresh cilantro
- fresh mint
- fried onions or shallots (toss some red onions or shallots in flour and fry till golden)
Then dress it with Nuoc Cham and maybe some sriracha for that extra kick. For more asian flavor you can fry up the meatballs with some finely minced lemongrass. Trust me it’s super easy, peasy and absolutely delicious!
*from Bobby Chinn’s 2007 cookbook “Vietnamese Food”
Makes about 120ml
1tsp rice vinegar
3 tsp sugar
1 finger length Thai bird’s-eye chili, finely chopped (deseed if you prefer a milder sauce)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
In a saucepan, mix the vinegar, sugar and 60ml water. Bring to a boil and set aside to cool. When cool combine with the chili, garlic and lime juice. Mix well and stir in the fish sauce. For a variation, add some grated Carrot or Carrot and Daikon Pickles to the dip.