Black rice noodle bowl, Vietnamese style / Serves 1
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 small red chilli
- 1 garlic clove
- 1cm piece ginger
- Half a lime
- 85g black rice noodles
- Half a small carrot
- 40g cucumber
- 75g tofu
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- A handful of mint, basil & coriander leaves
- 20g peanuts
- Half a lime to serve
Wrap the tofu block in paper towel and place on a dish. Put weights on top (I used a few cans on top of a small chopping board) to really remove as much moisture as possible.
Prepare the sauce by adding all the sauce ingredients into a pestle mortor and grinding until you have broken down the chilli, garlic and ginger. Set aside. Chop the peanuts up into small pieces ready to serve.
Peel the carrot and slice with a julienne peeler (or spiraliser if you have one). Cut the cucumber into small chunks.
Fill a pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the black rice noodles and cook for five minutes until tender. Drain, rinse well under cold water, then tip into a bowl of fresh cold water until ready to serve.
Heat the sesame oil in a small frying pan. Remove the weights from the tofu and unwrap from the kitchen towel. Cut the tofu into small chunks, then fry in the sesame oil for around four minutes on each side, until golden.
To serve, drain the noodles well and transfer to a shallow bowl with tongs. Next add the carrot and cucumber, then the tofu and cooked spring rolls (if using - see above). Tear the herbs and place these on the dish, then pour over the chilli sauce and the peanuts. Squeeze over the remaining lime segments.
Just a note, I originally plated the dish up like this, before squeezing the lime over and mixing it all up! How you serve it is entirely up to you, but I do like the mixed-up version myself.