We make a version of this dish a few times a month for several reasons: It's healthy, versatile and who doesn't love the chance to get rid of leftover veggies lurking in your fridge? The formula is simple: a protein, assorted veg, a starch base and a sauce to add some kick to the ensemble. This particular recipe is Vietnamese-inspired and includes mint, basil and cilantro tossed in with some roasted peanuts. If I have herbs on hand, they go in. If I don't, I add nuts or seeds in abundance to finish off the dish. I had old carrots I pickled overnight in existing brine and when you combine the whole song and dance, it almost looks as if you know what you're doing.
The base is usually rice, but I've tried soba noodles and had leftover rice vermicelli noodles that I've been meaning to use. Often the sauce is a bibimbap or ginger variety that I've played with a bit.
What brings me back to this dish is the fact that it can be meatless and I don't feel as if anything is missing. I have made countless vegetarian dishes, many of which aren't posted on this blog because they tasted as if they were missing meat (aka shitty). With these Asian-inspired noodle or rice bowls, I enjoy the depth of flavours with beans. tofu or lentils added to it and never think to myself "this would taste better with meat in it." That's what I call a success story.
Adapted from: http://pinchofyum.com
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 T rice vinegar
- 2 T brown sugar
- 200g vermicelli noodles
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 red pepper sliced thinly
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup red cabbage sliced
- 2 carrots, julienned (I had leftover brine from a jar of pickled onions and popped them in the brine the night before)
- 1/4 cup each, cilantro, mint and basil chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.
Prepare all the vegetables and protein and set aside. For the vermicelli noodles, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the noodles, submersing them in the water. Let sit for five minutes. Remove from water and portion immediately into two bowls. Top with the veggies, herbs, nuts and drizzle sauce overtop. Now eat, eat, eat!