Whenever I am wanting something new to eat I look to Asian cooking for some inspiration as it is normally gluten free when you minus all the sauces! Asian cooking and Asian ingredients tend to be gluten free as is mainly a rice based diet (yay!). I think vermicelli is an under utilised ingredient in GF cooking. It is a thin noodle made of just rice and water and dried into a little cake. You can find this in any Asian grocery store. The Asian imports won’t be GF certified but some well known brands like Chang’s are, which you can find in major supermarkets.
To prep vermicelli all you do is soak the dried noodle in boiling water till it is soft. Usually about 10 minutes or so. Just break it up when it starts to soften so the heat cooks the middle.
Soak the vermicelli in boiling water for 10-15min till soft. Break up the noodles to ensure even cooking.
Drain the noodles when cooked. The dryer the better as they becomes more sticky when they are dry and help with keeping the fritter shape. If you are impatient like me then just use some paper towel to get it as dry as you can.
Mix the spring onions and cabbage with the noodles (and the carrot if you are using it).
Pop some oil into a pan on medium heat. You will need enough to cover the bottom of your pan. Shallow frying makes it crispier! Place the noodle mix into the oil and flatten out.
When it becomes golden brown and crunchy then flip them over.
When the other side is crunchy take it out and place it on some paper towel to blot off the oil.
Ever since I was young, my family has been trying out Vietnamese restaurants to find the best Pho, tomato rice with fried chicken and lemongrass pork. I used to look forward the most to the pickled carrot and daikon (radish) which came as a side. I never thought of ever making it but now that I have I can’t really go back to waiting till we eat out again. Unlike other types of pickles this one is quite sweet and not that salty so you can alter it to suit your taste. These pickles are usually served as a little salad with rice dishes and on Vietnamese pork rolls but I also find them really good as an extra topping on some salads.
2 1/2 cups of white vinegar (to keep it gluten free make sure its not malt vinegar)
2 cups of water
1 cup of white sugar (plus 4 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons of salt
Julienne the carrots and daikon to the thickness you like. I like a mixture of super thin and thickish pieces.
So much cutting!
In a bowl add the 4 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt and mix around. This should draw out the water and make the sticks soft. Let it sit till you can easily bend the sticks. Don’t worry about the volume in the picture below, I went a bit crazy and doubled everything. It shouldn’t really be THAT much.
The sticks will become bendy and there will be a pool of liquid
Place the daikon and carrots in a colander and give it a quick rinse.
Just a quick rinse to get most of the salt off
Pack the sticks into clean glass jars.
You might need to smoosh them down.
Add the water, vinegar and sugar to a saucepan and place over low heat till everything dissolves.
It might take a while, its actually quite a lot of sugar
When everything is dissolved fill the jars with the liquid till it covers all the vegetables. You might need to jiggle it around a bit to get it into all the pockets and to get rid of all the air.
Leave it overnight before you eat it so all the flavours mix and the vegetables take up the vinegar. Keep it in the fridge till you want to use it. It should keep for a while if you leave it in the cold.
I just had some in my salad tonight for dinner and it was DELISH! Actually, I thought I had too much vinegar syrup so I poured it out before I got rid of all the air bubbles and so I had to top it up with vinegar alone, so it was a bit more sour than I expected. Nevertheless, loving it! Not sure if its considered healthy considering all the sugar, but at least it has no fat! Enjoy!
***Originally published Oct 2013 on my previous blog***