Get set for flavour fireworks: this salad is bursting at the seams with good stuff! Tangy dressing, fragrant herbs, the crispiest salmon ever, and delicious crunchy toppings. My, my, my – this a Vietnamese noodle salad you’re going to go wild for.
80g (3 oz) dried glass noodles (also known as bean thread or cellophane noodles)
2 x 200g (7 oz) skin-on salmon fillets
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ cup mint leaves
¼ cup Thai basil leaves
butter lettuce leaves, to serve
¼ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
2 tbsp crispy fried shallots
Nuoc cham dressing:
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Quick pickled carrots:
1 large carrot, finely julienned
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
Combine the ingredients for the quick pickled carrots. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Soak the glass noodles in room temperature water for 10 minutes (they will be pliable but not completely softened).
Meanwhile, whisk together the ingredients for the nuoc cham dressing.
Pat salmon fillets dry with paper towel. Season with salt.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the salmon fillets skin-side down, then lay a piece of baking (parchment) paper on top. Place another smaller frying pan on top to add weight on the fillets – this will help keep the skin flat against the bottom of the pan, which will give it an even cook and help to make every inch super crispy! Cook for about 2 minutes or until the skin is brown and crisp. Then turn the fillets over and turn off the heat. Leave the fillets in the pan so they continue to cook with the residual heat for a further 1-2 minutes or until cooked through to your liking. Transfer a chopping board and cut into chunks.
Cook soaked noodles in boiling water for 1-2 minutes or until just soft and tender. Remove noodles from the water with tongs or a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl. Add the mint and basil leaves, along with half the dressing. Toss to coat. (If you find your noodles are starting to clump together, give them a couple of snips with the scissors.)
Line serving bowls with lettuce, then divide up the herby noodles. Top with quick pickled carrots. Arrange chunks of crispy salmon on top. Scatter over peanuts and crispy fried shallots. Add more dressing to taste.