This noodle salad, based on the Vietnamese vermicelli variety, has a brilliant, surprising flavor, especially for something so simple. Even though it has more ingredients than I regularly use–whisking together a homemade nuoc nam is a cinch, but does take a tablespoon of this and a tablespoon of that–none of them can be skipped.
Brimming with crisp and sweet summer vegetables and herbs, this chilled noodle salad is the kind of bowl I want to tuck into for dinner after my shirt has been stuck to my back all day. I think of it as my summer vegetable-and-noodle reward. —Caroline Wright
light brown sugar or agave nectar
small garlic clove, finely grated
spicy chile, chopped
rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package directions
shredded leftover roasted chicken, either store-bought rotisserie or homemade
finely grated carrot
grated golden beets
mixed herb leaves, like cilantro, basil and mint
Stir together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and chile in a large bowl with 3 tablespoons water. Add noodles, chicken, cucumber, carrot, beets, beans, herbs, and peanuts; toss everything together to coat the vegetable and the noodles in dressing.
Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Catalan Food, written with chef Daniel Olivella, comes out in early September from Clarkson Potter.