Vietnamese-French Crabmeat and Asparagus Salad
- For Nuoc Cham Dressing:
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce (nuoc mam)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- For Salad:
- 1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 pound rice-stick noodles, cut into 4 inch-pieces
- 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
- 4 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces and julienned
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
- 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
To make the dressing, in a medium bowl whisk the warm water with the sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, garlic and red pepper flakes, and whisk to combine. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
In a bowl, cover the noodles with hot water and soak until softened, about 3 minutes. Drain the noodles and cook in the boiling water until tender, 1 minute. Drain noodles and refresh in cold water. Drain.
In a bowl, toss the noodles with 1/2 cup of the dressing. Divide among 4 plates. Add the asparagus, crabmeat, and green onions to the bowl, and toss with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Arrange on top of the noodles. Garnish each serving with cilantro sprigs, chopped peanuts, and a drizzle of the remaining dressing.