Prep 40 mins
Cook 15 mins
This recipe comes from the Thai city of Chai Phumi, which has a large Vietnamese population. It is one of my favorite summertime specials at Saffron, a wonderful Thai restaurant in San Diego.
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 9 -10 fresh bird chiles or 5 -6 serrano chilies, minced
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄4 cup palm sugar or 1⁄4 cup light brown sugar
- 2⁄3 cup rice vinegar
- 5 tablespoons fish sauce (namm pla)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3⁄4 lb ground turkey
- 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, minced
- 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 bundles rice vermicelli (9 oz)
GARNISHES and ACCOMPANIMENTS
- 1⁄4 lb fresh bean sprout
- 1⁄4 lb green beans, parboiled
- 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 8 sprigs cilantro, coarsely chopped
- In a mortar, with a pestle, pound the sea salt and garlic into a paste. Add the chiles and pound to a paste. Transfer the mixture to a small mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, palm sugar, vinegar and fish sauce and cook, stirring , over medium low heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.
- Cool, then add to the pounded paste, mix well and set aside.
- In a 12 inch skillet, heat th eoil over high heat for 1-2 minutes or until very hot. Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring to separate and crumble the meat, until evenly browned.
- Add the lemongrass, curry powder and sea salt, mix well, and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and cover until ready to serve.
- NOODLE NESTS:.
- In a 6 qt saucepan, bring 5 cups water to a boil. Drop the noodeles into the boiling water and stir to separate the strands. Let boil vigorously for 2 mintues.
- Drain and rinse with several changes of cold water. Then fill saucepan with water and return noodles to pan.
- With your middle or index finger, scoop up a 1 inch bundle of noodles. Squeeze out excess water with your other hand.
- Twist the noodles into a figure 8 bundle then fold over to make a circular nest and place on a large serving platter. Repeat with rest of noodles.
- TO SERVE:.
- Place a bowl of the chile sauce in the center of a large platter. Arrange the nests of noodles on one side and mounds of the bean sprouts, green beans, fennel and cilantro on the other.
- Set a bowl of the turkey topping nearby.
- Have each guest put 3 or 4 nests on his or her plate, top with a couple spoonfuls of turkey, as well as the vegetable garnishes, then drizzle several spoonfuls of the sauce over the noodles, separating an loosening he strands so the noodles absorb the sauce.
Delicious - and it hit all the flavour buds. I have to admit to not going with the nest presentation as we were just too hungry, so I just piled the noodles on a platter, topped with the turkey mixture, drizzled with most of the sauce (keeping some at table to drizzle over individual servings) and topped with garnishes. South East Asian is one of our favourites and this dish is fast, healthy and delicious.