Vietnamese Cold Noodle Salad

This is one of my favorite dishes ever, and since moving away from Los Angeles in 2006, one I’ve had to learn how to make on my own. See, when we lived in LA, we’d just jet on over to this place around the corner called Le Saigon and order “two #8s and a 13” and blissfully indulge. And yes, there are some Vietnamese places here in TX, but so far none of them have lived up to our Le Saigon standards. What can I say, we were spoiled. So one day I decided to scour the net for THE recipe.

Lo and behold, I found one! It took some doctoring, but it turns out, I can make it and it’s dang tasty! To make it taste like it does at Le Saigon, I used less fish sauce and garlic in the Nuac Cham, cooked the noodles a bit longer, and added more lettuce, cilantro, and cucumber.

Recently, I got the Best International Recipe Cookbook and discovered that they also have a recipe for Vietnamese Cold Noodle Salad, so I thought I’d give it a go tonight.

The verdict is in: When making a Vietnamese dish, it’s probably best to actually trust the recipe from a Vietnamese person and not the recipe from a bow-tie wearing round-eye. This one was FAR too limey for my taste, the fish sauce to garlic ratio was kind of off, and the brown sugar in the marinade was a bit cloying.

Of course, according to Cook’s Illustrated, their recipe is perfect in every way, is better than that of any Asian person, and I’m not allowed under any circumstance to modify it. Just ask them! This blog has turned me off of them completely, and I will never buy another of their books or magazines. I always thought Chris Kimball was a pompous prick, and that just confirms it for me.

Published in: on July 27, 2008 at 1:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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