In the super trendy and popular Mitte district in Berlin there is a charming Vietnamese restaurant called "Monsieur Vuong". The menu is quite modest- with around six courses- but the small selection comes with compensation- each of the dishes on the menu are exceptionally tasty , the portions are generous, the service is exceedingly prompt and the prices are ridiculous (in a good way, especially for Berlin or Europe for that matter). My favorite dish of theirs is the glass noodle salad- a spicy dish with an abundance of flavors, textures and colors- that is also filling! The glass noodles and fish sauce can be found in Asian specialty markets, but may also be found in your regular supermarket in the Asian products section. Here is my version of this salad:
Ingredients for 6-8 servings:
For the salad:
1 bag (200 grams, 7 oz.) glass noodle, soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes. Use a very large bowl for this because the noodles come in a bunch and are nearly impossible to separate. Soaking in hot water softens and cooks them.
1 pound, boneless chicken breast, butterflied and halved
2 carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise into fourths
Large handful of bean sprouts
¼ red cabbage, but into fine slices
4 green onions, white and green parts, sliced into thin rings
½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Small handful mint leaves
Small handful basil leaves
½ cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
For the sauce:
¼ cup lime or lemon juice
¼ cup fish sauce (nam pla)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
¾ inch (2 cm.) piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chili pepper, sliced into very thin rings (optional)
- In a large stockpot, bring 5 cups of water and one teaspoon salt to a boil and carefully place the chicken breasts in the boiling water. Cook uncovered on high heat for 4 minutes, and then remove from flame. Cover pot and let the chicken stand in the hot water until the salad is done (the chicken will continue to cook).
- Meanwhile, mix all of the ingredients for the sauce in a large bowl, and let stand until the sugar melts.
- Drain the noodles and add them to the bowl with the sauce. Add the carrots, bean sprouts, cabbage, green onion and cilantro and mix together.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the water and cut the breasts into thin strips. Add the chicken strips to the salad and top with the mint, basil and peanuts.