I spent about 11 months restricting myself to a vegan diet a few years ago, during which Asian cuisine topped my list of favorite meals more frequently than not. Besides the spices and bold flavors that you are able to find in this form of cooking, the ingredients are usually vegan friendly (no dairy, no meat, no eggs). However, with these exclusions come the trade-off of high sodium and soy content levels. But, for those of you okay with soy, this dish is a must-try!
Vermicelli is a rice-noodle dish that is served chilled (great for summer meals). If you live in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Oregon or Washington, than you are probably familiar with the dish Pho – a noodle soup, similar to Ramen. If you are a fan of this meal, but find it too hot in the summer, than Vermicelli is the perfect solution. The best part is, it is incredibly easy to make at home.
1 pack rice noodles
2 bell peppers (any color is delicious!)
5 carrots, whole or sliced
1 yellow onion
3 red radishes
1 bundle of green onion
1/2 cup (roughly) cilantro
1 English Cucumber
Peanuts or Sesame seeds for garnish
1 tsp Pure Honey or Agave
Fill a medium/large pot halfway with water, and place on the stove with a lid. Turn burner to high and wait for water to boil.
In the meantime, start peeling and chopping your carrots. The best way to cut them is into long thin strips, almost shredded. You could even use your peeler to shave the carrots into thin pieces. When you have done this, put the carrots into a mason jar, and cover with Rice Wine Vinegar (you want the carrots to be completely saturated). Drizzle the honey or agave into the jar, and then cover with the lid and shake well to coat the carrots. Place the jar in the fridge to keep cool.
*If you’re water is boiling, remove the lid and dump in the package of Rice Noodles. Make sure to stir the noodles once added to the water to make sure they loosen up. If needed, turn the water to medium heat, and then partially cover with lid.
While your noodles cook, start chopping the rest of your vegetables – onions, peppers, tomatoes, radishes, green onion, cilantro, and cucumber. You can chop these however you like – I typically chop everything into a small julienne so that it mixes well in the dish. Long thin slices are also good.
*Check back on your noodles, and stir periodically. They typically take 10 minutes to cook fully, however pull one out every once in a while to taste, making sure they are to your liking. I prefer mine to be slightly al dente (cooked, but still firm). Once finished, place a strainer in the sink, and using hot-holds, pour the pot of noodles and water into the strainer. Be careful of the steam as it billows up from the sink – this can burn you!
Once the noodles are in the strainer, rinse with cold water to chill, and then drizzle about 1 Tbsp of sesame oil on the noodles and stir until they are well-coated. This will help reduce clumping and stickiness of the noodles.
To build you bowl, you get creative control! After a generous helping of rice noodles are in the bowl, make sure to include all of your veggies, the pickled carrots, and green onion and cilantro to top. If you have chopped peanuts or sesame seeds, and those to the top for a nice finish.
Drizzle soy sauce and siracha on to taste, and enjoy!!
**Optional – for more flavor, you can make a peanut sauce from all natural chunky peanut butter (1 Tbsp), Soy sauce (2 Tbsp), 1/4 cup of cold water, Rice Wine Vinegar (2 Tbsp), and some Siracha. Delish!