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This recipe is very versatile. I use it as a base and add different types of veggies depending on what we have on hand. The optional ingredients listed below are some of the variations I like to add. I usually make this with basil and mint. This is from Paulette Mitchell's The 15-Minute Vegetarian Gourmet.
- 8 -10 ounces rice noodles (or cellophane)
- 1 cup unsalted peanuts
- 4 tablespoons minced gingerroot
- 1 hot red chili peppers, seeds removed or 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 -3 garlic cloves (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1⁄4 cup fresh mint
- 1⁄2 cup shredded carrot (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup diced cucumber (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup red sweet bell pepper, slices (optional)
- baked tofu, cubes (optional)
- mung bean sprouts (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup lime juice or 1⁄2 cup lemon juice or 1⁄2 cup white vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup soy sauce
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- chopped unsalted peanuts (optional, for garnish) (optional)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl soak the noodles in hot tap water for about 5 minutes. Drain noodles, then soak in boiling water for an additional 5 minutes, or until they are softened and clear.
- Drain well, and using kitchen shears, cut into shorter lengths. Set noodles aside to cool.
- In a food processor or electric mincer, combine peanuts, ginger, and hot pepper. Also add garlic, if using. Process until well mixed.
- In a large bowl, toss mixture with noodles. Toss again with basil, mint and any additional vegetables and tofu.
- In a measuring cup, combine the juice or vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. If using unrefined sugar, you may need to heat the sauce in the microwave to get it to dissolve.
- Pour over salad and toss until dressing is evenly distributed.
- Garnish with additional peanuts, if using and serve cold.