Food and Drink: Weekend Cook 10: Chilli Noodle Salad With Prawns Serves two. Total time: 15 minutes

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The Independent Culture
THERE IS an Asian cafe called Wok Wok just close enough to me for lunch. They make a fine noodle salad with crispy shreds of chicken and lots of chilli. But curiously, for all its Nineties aspirations, the salad comes arranged Seventies-style on a necklace of Little Gem lettuce leaves.

Vermicelli rice noodles are well-worth getting to know, merely requiring a short, sharp soak in boiling water, which avoids the danger of their being overcooked or sticking.

For the salad:

100g/3 oz vermicelli

rice noodles

100g/31/2 oz mangetouts,

topped and tailed

100g/31/2 oz cooked and

peeled king prawns

4 spring onions, trimmed

1 tbsp finely sliced red chilli,

seeds removed

For the dressing:

1 tbsp fish sauce

11/2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp golden caster sugar

Roughly break the noodles into a bowl, then cover them with boiling water and leave for 5 minutes. Drain them into a sieve and run cold water through them. At the same time, bring a small pan of salted water to the boil. Slice the mangetout into long thin strips and blanch them for 20 seconds, then drain into a sieve and refresh under the cold tap. Finely slice the prawns, and diagonally slice the spring onions, including plenty of green. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Mix the ingredients for the dressing in another bowl and toss with the salad.