Lemongrass-Scented Rice Noodle Salad with Mint and Cilantro

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To celebrate real food, Top Chef judge and celebrity culinary expert Gail Simmons created exclusive recipes for Pure Leaf Tea. I was excited to find this Lemongrass-Scented Rice Noodle Salad with Mint and Cilantro, as I’m currently obsessed with rice noodles and I was looking for a special dish to serve dinner party guests.  Chef Simmons has delicately crafted this recipe to create amazing flavor by marrying a variety of fresh ingredients. Prep for this dish is time consuming, but you can do it before guests arrive. Complete steps 1 – 3 ahead of time, then when you’re ready to sit for dinner complete step 4 and enjoy!

Lemongrass-Scented Rice Noodle Salad with Mint and Cilantro – By Gail Simmons

Serves 4

 Indgredients

  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 8 oz vermicelli rice noodles
  • 4 1/4 cups Pure Leaf Unsweetened Iced Tea, divided
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, peeled and trimmed into two 2–3 inch pieces, one half of pieces bruised using the back of a knife, one half finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, 10 stems reserved
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, half sliced, half finely chopped
  • 2 small Thai chiles, stemmed, seeded and chopped or 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, cut into matchsticks or shredded lengthwise on a mandoline
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks or shredded lengthwise on a mandoline
  • 6 radishes, cut into matchsticks or shredded on a mandoline
  • 1/4 cup mint, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp or shredded rotisserie chicken, optional

 Directions

  1. Heat canola oil in a medium sauté pan until just before smoking. In a shallow bowl, toss shallots with flour, shaking off any excess. Fry shallots in oil, stirring gently until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season immediately with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine 4 cups Iced Tea, water, bruised lemongrass, sliced ginger, 10 cilantro stems and remaining teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add rice noodles and cook until just tender, about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly under cold water until chilled. Shake out any excess water and spread noodles on a paper towel-lined tray.
  3. For dressing, combine reserved lemongrass, reserved ginger, chiles, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup Iced Tea in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
  4. Place noodles, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, mint, cilantro leaves and chicken or shrimp (if desired) in a large bowl. Add dressing to taste and toss well. Garnish with fried shallots and crushed peanuts before serving.

Note: Any remaining dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and used on meat, fish and salads.

 

 

 

 

 

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