I make salads at least once every week in humongous portions sometimes so my husband and I can have it for dinner and for next day’s breakfast. Plus it is so easy to create home-made dressings with simple ingredients so it’s something that you can easily prepare, whether as a meal on its own or as an accompaniment to mains.
I have made some vegetarian tofu pancakes earlier as a dinner main so I thought it would be nice to have a sweet & spicy salad to go with it.
Vietnamese Prawn Salad Recipe
Ingredients (serves two)
150g bean vermicelli, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
6-8 medium-to-large size prawns, shelled with tail intact, blanched
1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded & julienned
1 carrot, peeled & julienned
a handful of roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
juice from 2 limes
1. To make the dressing, mash the garlic, chilli sauce and sugar with a pestle and mortar. Add lime juice and 3 tablespoons of water. Mix well and set aside.
2. Place the vermicelli on the bottom of a dish and spread the vegetables and prawns on top. Top with peanuts and pour over the dressing. Toss and serve.
The dressing is very refreshing and gives the salad sweetness with a slightly spicy kick. It reminds me of our Chinese New Year Yu Sheng (鱼生) with ingredients that need to be tossed thoroughly before eating. The raw cucumber and carrot strips are crunchy. And if you cook your prawns to perfection, they should have a crunchy, springy texture too. Roasted peanuts merely give it a toasted aroma.
You can tweek the dressing to what you like. More sugar if you like it sweeter or more chilli if you like it spicier. Just taste and adjust the portions.
For a carb-free salad, simply omit the vermicelli and add more vegetables.