Vietnamese Noodle Salad
	For nuoc cham (flavoring sauce):
	2 cloves garlic
	2 tbs sugar
	3 hot red chile peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
	¼ lime
	3 tbs bottled fish sauce (nuoc mam)
	6 tbs water
	For noodle salad:
	½ pound rice sticks
	1 cup shredded cucumber
	2 cups shredded red-leaf or Boston lettuce
	1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
	1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
	1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
	2 cups fresh bean sprouts
	1 cup coarsely shredded carrot
	2 cups cooked and shredded chicken, pork, beef or egg (or whole peeled
	6 tbs chopped roasted peanuts
	1 fresh or dried hot red chili pepper, minced
	Lime wedges and whole cilantro sprigs for garnish
	Make the nuoc cham:
	It's traditional to pound the garlic, sugar and peppers to a paste with a
	mortar and pestle, gradually adding the lime pulp and juice, then blending
	in the fish sauce and water. Alternatively you may puree the garlic , sugar
	and lime pulp in a food processor, then blend in the lime juice, fish sauce
	and water until smooth. Pour into a small serving bowl and stir in the thinly
	sliced peppers.
	Make the salad:
	Drop the rice sticks in two quarts boiling water; return to boil for five
	minutes; then drain and rinse well with cold water to prevent sticking.
	To serve, arrange the food in the following manner: Divide the cucumber
	and lettuce among the bottom of six bowls, then sprinkle on a teaspoon
	each of the mint, cilantro and basil. Distribute the noodles among the six
	bowls, topped with the bean sprouts and carrots. Top with shredded meat(s),
	egg, shrimp or a combination. Sprinkle with more mint and parsley, plus the
	roasted chopped peanuts. Add a few pieces of shredded hot pepper on top
	and garnish each bowl with a lime wedge and sprig of cilantro. Serve with
	the nuoc cham for diners to sprinkle over their own bowls, according to
	Serves Six

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