• The surprise party was a huge hit! I will be blogging about it soon, but I must finish processing the pictures we took. Meanwhile, what do you do when you have a lot of leftover ingredients from your Thai-inspired party? Make more Asian food, why of course! Our refrigerator is overflowing with bean sprouts, fresh mint, fresh Thai basil, tofu, red chili peppers, scallions, and so much more. So I decided to try and recreate, with a little help from a recipe, one of my favorite dishes (#37) from Dalat, one of our used-to-be regular Vietnamese haunts before Celiac Disease.

    What is #37 you ask? Bun. That is a staple in any Vietnamese restaurant. I’m guessing bun means noodles. Usually it comes with very thin rice vermicelli noodles, sort of like angel hair pasta. But since I didn’t have any vermicelli in my pantry, I used the wider rice noodle usually used for making Pad Thai. And then I improvised on the recipe I have in my files by adding fried tofu, spicy Thai basil, and peanuts.

    Bun Thit: Rice Vermicelli with Fried Tofu

    8 ounces dried rice noodles (thick or thin, your choice, make sure they have no wheat in them)
    firm tofu, diced into bite-sized pieces
    peanut oil
    2 carrots, cut into narrow slivers
    peanuts (about 1/4 cup chopped into small pieces, reserve some for garnish)
    1/4 cup thai basil, chopped
    1/4 cup cilantro, chopped, reserve some for garnish
    1/4 cup fresh mint,chopped

    Cook noodles according to directions on package. Drain when finished. Meanwhile fry tofu in peanut oil. I’m not sure of the amount of oil to use, as I didn’t measure it. The amount can be to your own liking. Add fried tofu, carrots, peanuts, basil, cilantro, and mint to noodles. Add dressing and toss to mix. Serve with extra cilantro and chopped peanuts sprinkled over the top.

    Nuoc Cham Dressing

    5 tbsp. sugar
    3 tbsp. water
    1/3 cup fish sauce (I used Thai Kitchen brand, as it is gluten free)
    1/2 cup lime juice
    1 large minced clove of garlic
    1 Thai chili, minced (seed this if you want it less spicy)

    Whisk together the sugar, water, fish sauce, and lime juice in a measuring cup until the sugar dissolves. Add the garlic and chili and let stand for about 30 minutes before using.

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