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Monday, June 9, 2014

Sweet Potato Bun Tom (Shrimp Noodle)

 Vietnamese cuisine is very popular here in France.  One of the most popular summer dishes is one called Bo Bun, which is a simple hot curried beef strip on cold rice noodle salad with lots of raw toppings and a Nuac Mam Cham vinegarette.
Bo is beef and Bun is Noodle in Vietnamese, but here, they tend to call any combination "Bo Bun" which is perfectly fine since it makes it more familiar coming off the French tongue and this less "scary" to eat at a non-French restaurant.  The real word for shrimp in Vietnamese is Tom, which is why I named my dish Bun Tom (also because I promised my friend Pascale I would wait for her before making Bo technically, I haven't made it yet and I will make it the "real" way when she gets back).  The other change I made from the traditional Bo Bun is the choice of noodles.  During my recent trip to Asian Wonderland, I found these noodles made from sweet pototatoes.  After doing some research, I found they keep their chewy al dente texture after being cooked, they are low calorie, low carb (but also low protein), but work well in hot stir fries just as well as in cold noodle salads.  they are most widely used to make Korean Japchae, but I had never seen such intriguing noodles before.  After cooking, the texture is a bit like glass noodles but they swell thicker and are pleasantly chewy.  I think these are my new favorite noodle (other than linguine)!
So after a long hot day of being outside under the sun, a cold meal seemed like the perfect remedy to cool down my inner parts.
Ooh I really should watch what I say... That sounds kind of exciting..
Serves 2
150g (approz 5.5oz) sweet potato noodles
4 Cha Gio (Nem or eggroll) thickly sliced
1/4 cucumber, julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned
400g (14oz) cooked shrimp, peeled and halved
1 handful chopped scallions
1 handful chopped mint
1 handful chopped cilantro
1 handful crushed peanuts
Nuac Mam Cham minus sugar
1 tsp dried lemongrass
1 tsp grated ginger
Pinch turmeric
1 Tbsp mirin (instead of sugar in the nuac mam cham)
1.  Cook the sweet potato noodles in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes (or follow package instructions.  Drain and soak in an ice bath to cool.  This is a cold salad.  Noodles need to be cold.
2.  Make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients together.
3.  Assemble.  Place the noodles at the bottom of a serving bowl, then place the shrimp, herbs, veggies, and cha gio pieces along the circumference..because if you can't integrate geometry or calculus words into your recipes, what would be the point?
Place the chopped peanuts in the center.

Spoon some of the sauce over your bowl before tossing it around with your chopsticks.
Here it looks a bit messier, but isn't the best part of a perfectly made bed the satisfaction you get in tearing it open?

*Fight food without the egg rolls
**Gluten free if egg rolls made with rice paper only.
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