As much as I love cooking, some nights the thought of cooking dinner is more than I can bear. It’s not the act of actually cooking I have a problem with, but some nights it simply boils down to deciding what we’re going to actually have for dinner. I’ve given up asking my husband what he wants for dinner because his answer will inevitably be “something yummy”. Helpful, isn’t he?
The problem with deciding what to cook for dinner comes down to the fact that I have so many dishes and recipes I want to try, piled high in Pinterest boards, and to do lists, that I feel completely overwhelmed, so I just turn to my favourite old dinner faithfuls instead. But a couple of weeks ago I made the decision I was going to put together a meal plan for the week, and try to stick to it as much as humanly possible. And it’s working, so far at least, and I’ve discovered a few great dishes in the process.
This lychee, vermicelli rice noodle and edamame salad is one of those dishes. What’s even better is that it can be assembled and on the table in under 15 minutes!
For this edamame salad you will need big bunches of coriander and mint. As much as I’d love to say these herbs came from my garden, sadly they didn’t. I’ve not had much success growing coriander (if you are a successful coriander grower I’d love some tips), and the local grasshopper population decimated my mint, along with my basil and rainbow chard. The grasshoppers also had a good munch on my chilli plants, which I had lovingly grown from seeds from a chilli I’d used in a stir fry, but now those chilli plants, along with my tomato plants and new mint are now snugly wrapped in some fibreglass netting, which seems to be protecting them. Take that grasshoppers!
Whether you use homegrown or store bought herbs, the coriander and mint leaves are paired with thinly sliced red onion, celery, radish and cucumber, and the lychees in this salad add a beautiful juicy sweetness, however if you don’t have access to lychees they can easily be omitted. This is all tossed with rice noodles and topped with freshly steamed and podded edamame and a sprinkling of chopped roasted and salted cashews before being drizzled in a chilli and lime dressing.
It’s fresh, fast, and light, making it perfect for those hot sticky summer nights when the last thing you feel like doing is slaving away in a hot kitchen. It’s also makes a great healthy lunch too!
Lychee, vermicelli rice noodles and edamame salad
- 150 g vermicelli rice noodles
- 150 g edamame beans steamed and podded
- 1 1/2 cups coriander (cilantro)
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 lebanese cucumber halved, and finely sliced
- 2 celery stalks finely sliced
- 2-3 radishes finely sliced
- 1 red onion finely sliced
- 1 cup fresh lychees halved, seed and skin removed
- 1/3 cup roasted salted cashews roughly chopped
- CHILI DRESSING:
- 1/4 cup chilli jam
- 1/4 cup lime juice around 2 limes
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic grated
- Place vermicelli in a large bowl and cover with warm water and leave for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water before placing in a large serving bowl along with the coriander, mint, cucumber, celery, radish and red onion. Toss well to combine. Top with the edamame, lychees and chopped cashews.
- To make the dressing combine the chilli jam, lime juice, soy, ginger and garlic and stir to combine. Add to the salad just before serving, and toss well to combine.
I used Beerenberg's fabulous chilli jam but any chilli jam will do, however you may need to adjust the sweetness depending on the jam. If so, then add a little honey to the dressing.
If you live with a carnivore, as I do, topped with thinly sliced medium rare steak that has been marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, grated ginger and garlic.