Vietnamese Beef Salad

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I was in a beef mince kinda mood this week. Not the spag bol, hug-in-a-bowl kinda mood, but something different. Inspired by @cheftomkerridge, and the technique of roasting mince in the oven until dark and crispy, led to this beef salad, with rice noodles and carrots, spiked with a punch Vietnamese inspired dressing. Probably best to pack the dressing separate to the salad each day, and mix together last minute before serving for your work lunch.

Takes 60 minutes, makes 4 work lunches

INGREDIENTS
1 pack of beef mince
1 pack of rice noodles (approx 300g)
3 spring onions, sliced
2 big carrots, coarsely grated
1 pack of beansprouts
A big handful of coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped
A big handful of mint, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, finely diced
1 lime
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 thumbsized piece of ginger, finely diced
3 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar
Salt and pepper

METHOD

1) Pre heat your oven at 180C. Spread your beef mince flat out on a baking tray so it forms one layer. Roast for around 40 minutes, until the mince is crispy. Every 10 minutes or so you’ll want to take it out the oven and break up the mince with a wooden spoon; you want it to form crispy nuggets, not one big lump!
2) Meanwhile make your dressing. Mix together the lime juice, rice wine vinegar (I use white wine vinegar if I don’t have any), fish sauce, sugar and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
3) In a saucepan slowly fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Tip in the cooked mince and rice noodles. Tip the saucepan’s contents into a bowl with the carrots, beansprouts, chilli, coriander and mint.
4) Pour over the dressing, toss and serve.

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