For a salad that is so easy to make, you will be surprised by just how satisfying and enjoyable it is to eat. The dressing is made up of punchy flavours, including unripened tomatoes, which are slightly more acidic than ripe ones and are often used in Cambodian cooking. If you can’t get unripened tomatoes, cherry tomatoes are a good substitute.
Tomato & Glass Noodle Salad
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 5–10 minutes
150g glass noodles, such as bean thread vermicelli
55g cup raw cashew nuts
a generous pinch of chilli powder
2 tsp honey
300g unripened tomatoes, roughly chopped, or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
85g bean sprouts
1 handful of coriander leaves
1 handful of Thai basil leaves or sweet basil leaves
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 red bird’s eye chillies, deseeded and sliced
4 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp lime zest
4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp clear honey
1 To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a small bowl and gently whisk until combined. Leave to one side.
2 Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the glass noodles for 2–3 minutes until softened. Drain, refresh under running cold water, pat dry with kitchen paper and tip into a large bowl.
3 Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat, then add the cashew nuts and dry-roast until fragrant and starting to brown. Remove from heat, add the chilli powder and honey to the pan and stir until the cashews are well coated. Leave to cool. When the nuts are cold enough to handle, roughly chop.
4 Add the tomatoes, onion, bean sprouts, coriander and Thai basil or sweet basil to the bowl with the prepared noodles. Pour over the dressing and toss all the ingredients together until well combined. Serve with the chopped spicy peanuts sprinkled over.
Extracted from: Lemongrass & Ginger by Leemei Tan text © (2012), published by Duncan Baird Publishers. £20 Hardback – Available at all good bookshops.