Traditionally a meatless dish, my version of the sweet tangy and spicy Thai glass noodle salad includes a copious amount of crumbled garlicky sausage meat on top. That’s to satisfy my carnivorous husband.
You may, of course, omit the meat completely. But there’s so much to miss if you do considering, especially, that the sausage I used for this dish is the garlicky kind. Vigan longganisa, a specialty of Ilocos, a region in the north of the Philippines.
I skinned the sausages, fried the sausage meat over medium-low heat until fat was rendered then I turned the heat up a bit and cooked the meat in its own fat until browned and lightly crisp.
The dressing is similar to the Vietnamese mixed fish sauce but the ratio of the ingredients is not as strict. It’s more of “use more or less of everything” to suit your taste.
Thai-style Glass Noodle Salad
- 90 grams glass (cellophane) noodles
- 2 shallots
- 2 tomatoes
- 200 grams sausages (I used garlicky but feel free to go with your preference)
For the dressing
- juice of one lime or lemon or the juice of 3 to 4 kalamansi
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
- 1 bird’s eye chili finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup toasted cashew nuts preferably salted
- 1 handful whole Thai basil leaves
- Place the glass noodles in a bowl and pour in hot water to cover the noodles completely. Leave to soak for about 20 minutes.
- Peel the shallots and thinly slice.
- Halve the tomatoes, scoop out the seeds and discard. Thinly slice the tomato halves.
- Skin the sausages and crumble the meat.
- Place a frying pan over medium-low heat and spread the sausage meat on the bottom. Leave to fry slowly until fat has been rendered.
- Turn up the heat to medium and cook the sausage meat in the rendered fat until lightly browned and crisp.
- Strain the sausage meat.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust the balance of flavors to suit your palate.
- Using kitchen shears, cut the softened noodles into two-inch lengths. Drain well.
- Place the drained noodles in a bowl. Add the shallots, tomatoes and half of the basil and cashew nuts. Drizzle in half of the dressing. Toss well. Taste and add more dressing, as needed.
- Transfer the noodle mixture on a plate. Spread the sausage meat on top. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the sausage meat. Garnish with the remaining cashew nuts and basil.