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Asian Noodle Salad with Fried Halloumi

Merging Mediterranean and South East Asian ingredients, this Asian Noodle Salad with Fried Halloumi is tangy, sweet, savory and spicy and makes for a light summer meal.
Course Entree, Salad
Cuisine Experimental, Southeast Asian
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Dairy, Noodles
Diet Pescatarian, Vegetarian

Ingredients

for salad

  • 1/2 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1/2 sweet onion (sliced thin)
  • 2 Persian cucumbers (cubed)
  • 1 tomato (cubed)
  • 1 handful mint (chopped)
  • 1 serrano chili pepper (minced)
  • 7 ounces banh pho (flat rice noodles)
  • 6 ounces Halloumi cheese (sliced 1/4-inch thick)
  • vegetable oil (for frying)

for dressing

  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Rehydrate the rice noodles in a bowl of warm water for 20 minutes.
  2. Boil a large pot of well salted water. Add the broccoli rabe and boil until the stems are cooked but still retain some crunch (about 2 minutes). Drain and immediately plunge the broccoli rabe into an ice bath. This shocks the vegetable giving it a vibrant green colour. Squeeze out any excess water from the broccoli rabe and chop. Add to a bowl with the onions, cucumbers, tomato, cilantro and chili.
  3. Make the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Boil the noodles until just tender then drain and plunge in a couple changes of cold water to chill. Add some ice cubes to the water and leave the noodles in the water while you fry the halloumi (otherwise they will start sticking).
  5. Heat a cast iron skillet until very hot. Add a splash of oil. Dry each piece of Halloumi using a paper towel and put in the pan to fry until crisp and brown on one side. Flip, then brown the second side.
  6. To plate, just add the dressing to the vegetables and toss to coat. Drain the noodles and put down a bed of them, then top with the salad along with some of the dressing that's accumulated at the bottom of the bowl. Top with slices of fried Halloumi.