Vietnamese Salad

From Maria Weingarten

Serves 10


1 head Napa Cabbage, finely sliced into thin strands

1 Jicama, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks

1 Mango, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks

1/2 cup Dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup Cilantro, coarsely chopped

1 jar Asian duck sauce (about 10 oz)

1 Red chili or jalapeno, ribs removed, seeded and diced

4 pkgs Bean thread (cellophane) noodles (about 1.7 oz each)

1 cup Canola oil


Combine the duck sauce and the diced red jalapeno pepper in a small saucepan and heat until sauce simmers and pepper is tender.  Let cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  (Can be done two days in advance.)  Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 300 about degrees.  Break the cellophane noodles into pieces.  Carefully fry the noodles by dropping them into the hot oil about two seconds, until it has expanded.  Flip over to fry the other side if necessary.  Do not brown, lower oil temperature if necessary.   Remove from the heat immediately using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.  Break the larger pieces into small strands.  (Can be done 4 hours in advance.)


Toss together the cabbage, jicama, mango, peanuts and cilantro in a large bowl to combine well.  (Note: you can prepare the salad ingredients 1 day ahead and keep in separate sealed plastic bags, chilled.)  Add enough of the spicy duck sauce to coat the salad well as a dressing.  Place salad in a serving bowl and top with crispy noodles.  Serve immediately.