Spring Roll Salad
This raw tangle of vegetables, noodles, and a barely-there dressing is my upgrade on a fresh spring roll but in salad format. The whole mess is quite refreshing and zingy but as comforting as the inside of a fresh spring roll.
- 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- One 1½-ounce (43 g) pack rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 yellow pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 quarter head Napa cabbage, very thinly sliced
- 1 medium fennel bulb, cored, stalks removed, and very thinly sliced, or 1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced
- 1 large bunch cilantro (about 20 sprigs), stems cut and discarded
- 5 full sprigs fresh mint, stems removed and discarded, leaves torn into quarter-size pieces
- One 4-inch (5 cm) knob ginger, peeled and minced
- 4 tablespoons lime juice (from about 2 limes)
- 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon light honey, like clover
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 6 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- Sea salt
- 3 tablespoons Crispy Shallots for garnish
- 1 red Thai chile, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
- Put the scallions into a bowl of water for 20 minutes to crisp up; drain and set aside.
- Cook your noodles according to the package instructions or as follows. Place the noodles in a deep bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover. Let sit for 3 minutes. Drain, rinse, and cut into short lengths (about 2-in/5 cm) with kitchen scissors. Transfer the noodles to a shallow bowl of cold water to cool while you assemble the rest of the salad.
- Combine the pepper, carrots, cabbage, fennel, cilantro, and mint in a large bowl. Toss until it looks like pretty confetti. Add the noodles and the reserved scallions, and toss again.
- Blend the ginger, lime juice, sriracha, honey, soy sauce, and sesame oil together in a powerful blender or food processor. This makes about ⅔ cup dressing. Spoon 6 tablespoons of the dressing over the veg and noodles. Gently toss with your clean hands until the dressing is well dispersed. Taste and add more dressing or salt, as you desire. Serve with extra dressing, crispy shallots (for a nice crunch and added salt), and chile slices, if desired.