About a year ago, my sweet Sister-in-Law gave me a year’s subscription to Bon Appetit magazine as a gift. By reading this magazine, I have been around the world many times from the comfort of my own living room. From the Adalusia region of Spain to Shanghai China to Africa and beyond, I have begun a quest to eat the world’s cuisine. What an adventure it has been so far.
Here is one of the great Asian dish recipes that leaped off the pages:
BEAN THREAD NOODLES WITH PICKLED VEGETABLES
6 oz. wide bean thread noodles
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup fish sauce
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. finely grated peeled ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 large daikon, julienned
1 English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled, julienned
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup torn fresh cilantro, divided
3/4 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped, divided.
Place noodles in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let noodles soak until tender but not mushy, 20 minutes; drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well.
Whisk garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, ginger and pepper in another large bowl. Add daikon, cucumber and carrots; toss to combine. Let sit 10 minutes.
Add noodles, oil, half of cilantro and half of peanuts to bowl; toss to combine. Top salad with remaining cilantro and peanuts.
There were some great personal lessons here for me. The first is that I get distracted easily which led me to not buying a daikon. I was at the Asian grocery store here in Salt Lake but forgot to buy one. Having lived in Southeast Asia, I was in complete nostalgia at the store. The chili garlic sauce, noodles, juices and other delights all commanded my attention. Due to that, I did not include daikon in the dish.
The other lesson was that I am sometimes in such a rush to get to things that I scan instead of read. While grating ginger into the marinade, I began thinking that 2 Tablespoons was a lot of ginger. Going back and actually reading (rather than scanning) the ingredients, I saw that it was 2 Teaspoons of ginger, not 2 Tablespoons.
The dish was wonderful. The marinade has a bitter flavor but not enough to overwhelm. It’s just enough that when it touches your tongue, the glands on the side of your mouth begin to water, craving more. Bean thread noodles are a clear glass noodle without a lot of flavor. The marinade does a beautiful job of flavoring those throughout. It reminded me of the Vietnamese Vinaigrette at La Cai Noodle House.
The veggies and herbs make it the epitome of freshness. This can be a great side or main dish.
Thank you Bon Appetit.