My inspiration for this salad came after a conversation with Mila, a manicurist, who noticed I was looking at salad recipes in a magazine. She told me about this Vietnamese Rice Paper Salad, Banh Trang Tron, which is a very popular street food in Vietnam. I decided to take her recipe and give it a Megasalad twist.
The most interesting part of assembling this salad is cutting the rice paper in strips before softening it with the dressing. (I almost wished I had younger kids at home to help me out that night!) As well, the original recipes I could find called for dried shrimp or squid and dried beef or jerky, and I substituted sauteed scallops instead. I also added several other ingredients that I thought complimented the salad.
So, here are the dressing ingredients:
- 1/2 cup light sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce + 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Juice of 2 limes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Optional: pinch of chili paste
Mix all ingredients in a glass jar or salad dressing carafe, shake well or blend with a hand blender until emulsified and set aside.
- 1 package brown or white rice paper (spring roll wrapper)
- 1 pound sea scallops, rinsed and dried well
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 mango, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 cups sugar snap peas, lightly sauteed
- 2 cups shitake mushrooms, sliced and lightly sauteed
- 3-4 scallions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons sesame oil (or any light oil) for sauteeing scallops, snap peas and mushrooms
- Optional topping: 1 cup radish sprouts and 1/3 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
Begin by taking 2-3 sheets of the rice paper at a time and cut them into strips with kitchen shears. Don't worry about uniformity; I tried to cut them roughly in the width of fettuccini (1/4") each. For this recipe, I cut 12-15 sheets of the rice paper. Place the cut strips in a wide, shallow bowl.
Next, heat 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a saute' pan on medium high heat. Saute' the snap peas until bright green and until they soften a bit but still have crunch (about 5 minutes). Using a spatula, move them into the bowl on top of the rice paper strips.
Add another tablespoon to that same pan (medium high heat) and saute' the scallops until lightly browned on both sides (about 2-3 minutes on each side). Move them into a bowl or onto a plate to cool a bit before chopping them.
Again, add a tablespoon more of oil to the pan (medium heat) and saute' the mushrooms until softened and lightly browned (about 3-5 minutes) and move them into the bowl with the rice paper strips and snap peas. After the scallops have cooled enough, cut them into quarters and add them in.
Add the chopped red bell pepper, mango, cilantro and scallions to the other salad ingredients, pour over the dressing, making sure that the noodles are well coated, and let this sit for about 5 minutes. After the noodles have had time to soften, I found the best way to mix it well was with my hands. The noodles tend to stick together some and this was the easiest way to separate them and to incorporate everything. I also ended up adding in about 1/3 cup warm water to soften the noodles more.
Lastly, sprinkle the chopped peanuts and radish spouts (if using) on top and serve right away.
Again, PLEASE, give me your thoughts and any suggestions or additions!
An ngon miệng nhé! (ENJOY YOUR MEAL!)