Writer and cookbook author Anya von Bremzen has traveled the world for F&W, finding stories for the magazine from Istanbul to Seoul. Her unforgettable Thai seafood salad is an example of how a perfect dressing can transform poached fish and springy (but bland) rice noodles into a revelatory dish that’s light, fresh and full of flavor.
Slideshow:Healthy Thai Recipes
6 ounces rice vermicelli
2 red Thai chiles, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 pound bay scallops
1/2 pound small squid, bodies cut into 1/2-inch rings and tentacles halved
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup mint leaves
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts
6 butter lettuce leaves, for serving
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, cover the vermicelli in cold water and soak for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a mortar, pound the Thai chiles and garlic to a paste with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, boiling water and the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and pound until the sugar dissolves. Let the dressing stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Add the shrimp to the boiling water and cook until white throughout and curled, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to the ice water. Add the scallops to the boiling water and cook until white and firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the scallops to the ice water. Add the squid to the boiling water and cook just until firm, about 45 seconds. Transfer the squid to the ice water. Drain all of the seafood and pat dry.
Bring a fresh saucepan of water to a boil and refill the bowl with ice water. Drain the vermicelli, add to the boiling water and cook just until al dente, 1 minute. Drain and transfer to the ice water. Drain again and pat dry. Cut the vermicelli into 3-inch lengths.
In a large bowl, toss the seafood with the vermicelli, tomatoes, bean sprouts, mint, red onion, peanuts and chile dressing. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter and fill with the seafood salad. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.
All of the components can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated separately. Toss the salad just before serving.
Citrusy off-dry Washington state Riesling.
You May Like
Sign Up for Our Newsletter
Keeping you in the know on all the latest & greatest food and travel news, and other special offers.