This type of salad is perfect for warm summer evenings. The crispness of the vegetables, saltiness in the prawns and sweet and sour flavours of the sauce makes this a party in a bowl.

I live in a lovely big old converted 1930’s mansion in London. We have the only one-bedroom place in the block and I love it.

The best part is the giant backyard which is kept in amazingly good condition. There’s even a little well up the back and family of foxes.

On warm nights all the various residents tend to come out from our separate little boxes armed with wine and sit around wooden tables together. 

More than anything, I will miss this yard when I leave London in a few weeks. This is not something many Londoners could say.

*sigh*

The night I made this salad the sun had already started setting and my camera wouldn’t do the dish justice. I gave up and went in to the garden to eat it. Hearing of my troubles, my neighbour, who is a smashingly good photographer, grabbed his much better camera and took the two shots at the top of this post. (Not the little ones of veggies below, they’re my handy work!).

A big thank you to Paddy. You’re a good egg. Even if you do like a sing-a-long at 4am. You can see his photography here.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients
A dash of peanut of sesame oil
20 grams of rice vermicelli noodles (it’s a token amount)
1 small carrot, peeled in to long strips
1/3 medium zucchini (courgette), julietted
100 grams green beans
1/3 red capsicum (pepper)
1/3 yellow capsicum (pepper)
4 large closed cap mushrooms
½ savoy cabbage
225 grams cooked prawns
A handful of coriander (cilantro)
1 cup bean shoots

Dressing
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small chilli, finely chopped (or a teaspoon of chilli flakes)
1 tablespoon chopped spring onion
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon of cornflour, to thicken.

Method

  1. Place your vermicelli noodles in a bowl of hot water and allow to sit while you prepare the rest.
  2. Cut up all your vegetables into thin sticks. Cut your cabbage in to quarters and chop very finely. For the carrot, hold it at the end and make long strips with a peeler. Place in large bowl ready to tip in your wok later.
  3. Pick a good handful of coriander leaves and chop roughly, set aside.
  4. Combine all ingredients for sauce in a mug, set aside.
  5. Drain your noodles. Make your wok good and hot with a dash of peanut or sesame oil. Fry the prawns quickly if raw, about 1 – 2 minutes. As soon as they’re orange, they’re cooked. If precooked heat through for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add vermicelli noodles. Fry for another 30 seconds. Throw in the rest of your vegetables with a tablespoon of water (to steam them a little while frying) toss for 3-4 minutes, stir sauce through then place straight in bowls.
  7. Top with bean shoots and coriander. 

Do: Add any veggies you fancy. Empty your veggie draw and make up your own customised salad. And if prawns are expensive, swap them out for chicken.

Healthy? 227 calories a serve. Lovely.

Gluten free? Check your sauce bottles (especially soy sauce), but otherwise you’re good.

Storage: Noooo…. Eat right there and then. You could take it for lunch the next day, bit it’d be a bit soggy.