One of my favorite places to go out and eat is Vietnamese food. About a year ago our small little town opened up its first Vietnamese restaurant and I've been visiting there as frequently as possible. They recently installed a smoothie machine and the Honeydew Boba has me thinking I just might have to drive that way this afternoon.
I don't always have the time or energy to go out, so I like recreating stuff at home. One of my favorite things to get aside from the Pho is their Cold Vermicelli Bowl with Pork or Shrimp. It reminds me of a salad in a bowl, something I would lean towards most nights.
I've been trying to work more fish into our diets for the Misters health sake. I don't know if I've adequately described him for you before. He's not Mister Gourmet, a more appropriate title would be "Hot Dog Dude". Whenever I'm not home to cook dinner he will say, "It's okay, I'll just have a hot dog." I wish I was kidding about this. He is just lucky he has someone like me looking out for his health or I could only imagine.
Before you start prepping the veggies, put a large pot of water on to boil so it will be ready when you are.
Make the pickled carrot and daikon radish mixture first so it can have a few minutes to soften and get some flavor:
Pickled Carrots and Daikon Radish:
2-3 large carrots, peeled
1 - 6 inch piece of daikon radish, peeled
1 cup water
2 tbsp. white vinegar or rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. salt
You can vary this pickling mixture anyway you like I tend to like it a little on the sweet side. I believe it's just a matter of ratios and you can make as little or as much of the pickled carrots and radishes as you want, I just made enough for the meal.
In a small pot combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt, heat on medium until everything is dissolved. Let cool.
I used a mandoline to cut the carrots and radishes into 3" chunks and then ran them through the julienne blade to achieve a thin matchstick size. Please, please use a finger guard when using your mandoline.
Cover the shredded carrots and radishes with the pickling liquid. Set aside till ready.
Other veggies you will need to prep:
1 cucumber cut into 2-3" julienne
1 head leaf lettuce
Mint or Thai basil
1-2 small red chilies, minced
Julienne cucumbers into small matchsticks. I like to chiffonade the lettuce, which is just a fancy term for rolling the leaves up and cutting them into thin strips. Wash and dry your herbs and chop them and set them aside. Cut the top off your chilies and remove the seeds, mince and set aside.
Prepare and sear the fish:
1 pound halibut fillet, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
1 tbsp. canola or grapeseed oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Pour a little bit of oil on the fish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat a skillet on medium to medium high heat, when it is hot add the oil and place the halibut flesh side down in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes.
Flip the fish over to the skin side and continue cooking until it is firm about 6-8 minutes. Only way to tell if your fish is done is to touch it. You read that right, you have to be okay with groping fish if you want to tell if it is properly cooked. It shouldn't feel giggly, but not overly firm either. I won't tell anyone you grope fish if you don't.
10oz. package or whatever size you can find dried Rice Vermicelli noodles
Drop the noodles into boiling water and cook until tender 4-5 minutes, drain and set aside.
To assemble the bowls place a good amount of the lettuce on the bottom and side, place some vermicelli noodles next to that, add a nice amount of the cucumber and pickled carrots and radish, add some herbs, and top with a little chile. In the restaurant they serve you a bowl of sauce that goes on top. I just used a couple tablespoons of the pickling liquid for the top of mine for a little more flavor.
Oh you likey the photo above? Me too. I received a package from Kim - Liv Life that I bought over at Becky's Bake Sale. I bet you are sorry you didn't go buy something now. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Kim and Family. I love everything in there, but especially the limoncello, the perfume when I opened the bottle provoked a little dizzy spell.