Noodle salads are excellent in all weather - particularly when it's steamy because there's minimal cooking involved. This dish works well with sliced sirloin; we've made it quicker by using minced beef instead. Roasted peanuts or fried shallots would be a great addition for a bit of crunch.
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only), thinly sliced
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 300 gm coarsely minced beef
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 250 gm rice vermicelli
- 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 100 gm (1 cup, loosely packed) bean sprouts
- ½ cup (loosely packed) coriander
- ½ cup (loosely packed) Vietnamese mint
- ½ cup (loosely packed) holy basil
- Thinly sliced birdseye chilli, to serve
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1-2 birdseye chillies, coarsely chopped
- 1½ tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1½ tbsp lime juice
- 1½ tbsp rice vinegar
- 1Pound garlic, lemongrass, peppercorns and caster sugar to a coarse paste with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a bowl, add beef and fish sauce and mix well.
- 2Place noodles in a large bowl, cover well with boiling water and stand to soften (5-6 minutes).
- 3Meanwhile, for lime-chilli dressing, pound garlic, chilli and sugar to a coarse paste with a mortar and pestle, then stir in fish sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar and 1 tbsp water.
- 4Drain noodles, refresh under cold running water and drain well. Cut noodles into manageable pieces and divide among serving bowls.
- 5Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat, add beef mixture and stir-fry until browned and just cooked through (2-3 minutes). Spoon beef over noodles, drizzle with lime-chilli dressing to taste, scatter with bean sprouts, herbs and extra chilli to taste and serve.
Drink Suggestion: A spicy, peachy pinot gris. Drink suggestion by Max Allen