A colorful and light one-dish dinner. The sprinkling of peanuts is traditional, but also a good draw for youngsters who may find this a bit exotic. There's little fat, lots of fresh vegetables and intriguing flavors. Modify the chile heat according to taste, starting with 1/8 of the pepper, and gradually add more until you like the flavor. There is extra dressing here because it holds well in the refrigerator for several days and makes a fine marinade for poultry, beef, pork, and seafoods of robust character. Save time by slicing all the vegetables together in two batches.
Place rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand about 5 minutes, or until tender, but not mushy. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water, and set back in the bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in blender or food processor. Taste for chile, and sweet/tart balance. Pour into a serving bowl and set on table.
Toss vegetables, herbs, and fruit with noodles. Mound on a large platter. Scatter with chicken or shrimps (if using), and peanuts. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh basil or coriander if desired. Serve, inviting everyone to spoon the dressing over their salads. Traditionally the salad would be eaten from individual bowls.
Copyright 1996. Lynne Rossetto Kasper.
When Marvin Gapultos had a craving for adobo but didn’t know how to make it, he decided to learn his family’s recipes. Since then, he has shared the flavors of Filipino food through his Los Angeles-based food truck The Manila Machine, on his blog Burnt Lumpia, and in The Adobo Road Cookbook.