This is a refreshing rice noodles salad with Vietnamese flavors that bursts with fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables. I like to serve the noodles and garnish separately and let people assemble the salad on their plates for the freshest taste. This is delicious with seared flank steak, but also is a great way to make a second meal out of leftover flank steak, in which case you could coat flank steak slices in the brown sugar and chile paste and heat them quickly in a hot skillet. —Fairmount_market
Salt the flank steak and allow to rest for 45 minutes.
Put the rice noodles in bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soften for about 20 minutes, drain, and set aside in a big shallow serving bowl.
Prepare the dressing by combining all of the remaining ingredients under "Dressed noodles" in a small sauce pan. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the softened rice noodles.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When it is very hot, place the steak into the pan and allow to sear for about 5 minutes. Flip and sear the steak on the second side for about 3 minutes, until it is medium rare or the desired doneness.
While the steak is cooking, mix together a paste with the brown sugar, Sriracha, fish sauce, and lime juice. When the steak is cooked, transfer it to a platter and slather both sides with the paste. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes. Slice 1/4 inch slices against the grain, layer the slices over the dressed rice noodles, and pour over any juice that accumulated from slicing the steak.
Prepare the garnish. Peel the cucumber and cut into 1 inch match sticks. Remove the stems of the snap peas. Arrange a platter with the vegetables, basil, and cilantro leaves.
Serve the noodles and beef. Garnish with generous heaps of cucumbers, snap peas, and herbs. Sprinkle peanuts on top. Enjoy.
I'm a biology professor and mother of two, and in my (limited) free time I love to cook, which is much more forgiving than laboratory science. Last year I helped start a farmers market in my neighborhood, and to promote it, I created a food blog: fairmountmarket.blogspot.com. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes for local, seasonal ingredients and finding fun ways to cook with my children.