Looking for a cool dish for a hot day, I came across this recipe for a Vietnamese noodle salad in the newest issue of EatingWell.
It did involve a fair amount of chopping and prep at the front end. But nothing was complicated and I was able to get this together in about 35-40 minutes.
It turned out to be a good option for a warm day.
The recipe from Eating Well called for pan-cooking the steak. I opted to grill it. I think I made the right choice. First of all because it meant not having to clean that pan later. Also because I prefer grilled steak.
I also added a hit of Sriracha chili sauce to the dressing because I like a little heat. That is up to the maker, I suppose.
Here is my version.
Steak bun (Vietnamese noodle salad)
makes about 6 servings
1 tablespoon canola oil 2 large NY strip steaks (1-1 1/4 inches thick), trimmed of fat 6 ounces wide rice noodles (I used the Thai rice noodles from Trader Joe's since I had them.) 1/2 cup rice vinegar 2 tablespoons fish sauce 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste 4 cups shredded napa cabbage 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot 1 cup thinly sliced radishes 1 cup slivered fresh basil and/or mint (I used a combination of these and it was good.) 1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts 1 tsp Sriracha or chili paste (I started with a little and added until I got the heat level I wanted) Salt and pepper
Heat grill over high heat. Season steak with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, until cooked through to your liking. Let rest on a clean cutting board for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook rice noodles according to the package directions, until just tender. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water.
Whisk vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and Sriracha to taste in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
In a large bowl, toss the dressing with the noodles, cabbage, carrot, radishes, herbs and peanuts. Then plate up your portions.
Slice the steak into thin strips and serve it on top of the noodle salad. (I cooked two steaks, but each portion only had about half a steak each sliced on top of it since they were big steaks. Then I had some left to eat later without any meat.)
Grilling the meat was the way to go. The EW version also mentions sirloin as a possibility. I think this would be good with grilled chicken or shrimp, too. Or even just as a meatless option.