Healthy Asian Salad

I have been craving a noodle salad for some time now and this recipe is a result of pure improvisation. I saw some rice vermicelli at the store the other day and picked it up without really thinking what I wanted to do with it. I had made a red cabbage salad in the past that had Asian flavors- so I just though that I will add the vermicelli and a bunch of other vegetables to it…and I landed up with this colorful and satisfying meal.

I never quiet understood the instructions on the vermicelli package- I think they talk about putting it in room temperature water…but the last time I tried that, the vermicelli turned out all plastic like. SO I just cook it like regular noodles and only cook it for about 2 to 3 min and then just put it under running tap water for 30 seconds…it works just fine.

I used a simple dressing/sauce for this recipe- vinegar mixed with some sugar, green chilies and salt. I just love the flavors of sweet, tangy and spicy together. I garnished it with unsalted roasted peanuts- you can also use toasted sesame seeds. Toasting the nut always brings out the best flavor in it as it releases its fragrant oil upon being heated- so its always best to toast the nuts lightly before adding it to your dish.

This salad is perfect for a light lunch. It’s super healthy and is pretty quick to make. Most of the ingredients don’t take long to cook…and you want to quickly toss the veggies on high heat so that they stay crunchy and hold on to their color and shape. Also by not cooking veggies for long you don’t lose out on the vitamins either.

Serves 3 to 4 
Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Things you will need:
Rice vermicelli
Red cabbage- shredded
Yellow bell pepper- cut into julienne
Carrot- cut into long pieces and blanched
Green beans- cut into long pieces and blanched
Bean sprouts (I used moong)
Spring onions- roughly chopped
Garlic- minced
Peanuts- roasted and slightly crushed
Cilantro- roughly chopped
For dressing:
1/4 cup Vinegar
2 tbs Water
2 tbs Sugar
1 Green chili chopped
Dash of soy sauce (optional)For the sauce- mix well all the ingredients in a separate bowl and keep aside till the sugar melts.

Cook vermicelli as per the direction on the package or as described above. In a wok heat oil on high, add garlic and cook for a few seconds. One by one add all the veggies and cook for about 2 to 3 min stirring continuously. Add the vermicelli  & the sauce and turn the heat off. Mix well till everything is combined together. Sprinkle some peanuts and cilantro before serving.