02 May2010


The weather has been unbearably hot and humid in Manila these past few weeks. It poured for the first time in months the other night, and the temporary relief from the blistering heat was followed by an incredibly muggy and humid day as the hot sun tried to reclaim the moisture from the ground. Plants must have felt like it was Christmas in July, and I thought I spied individual blades of carabao grass doing the cha-cha out on the lawn… :) In really hot weather, we try to have no-cook or minimal cook meals, sometimes served at room temperature or cold, as is the case with some salads. Here is a noodle dish that turned out really well and which we enjoyed for dinner last night…


These instructions are for a portion that serves 6 very generously. Take 3/4 kilo of medium sized prawns or shrimp and brine them in a mixture of water and salt for 1-1.5 hours in the fridge. Then boil up some water, drain the prawns, and slip them into the boiling water and let them cook or poach is perhaps a better description for just 2 or so minutes until just cooked through. The water may not even return to a boil in this timeframe. Practice makes perfect on this front. Undercook the shrimp and you’ll know it. Overcook them and they will get tough. Drain and when cool enough to handle, peel the prawns and set aside at room temperature. Do not refrigerate cooked prawns, they tend to get rubbery or toughen up. Next, take several small bunches of good vermicelli or sotanghon and soak in very hot water for 5+ minutes until soft and drain this thoroughly. Stick these in the fridge to cool them down. Meanwhile, julienne one medium sized carrot by hand or using a good mandoline. Do the same for a small Japanese cucumber. Prepare some coriander leaves an chopped chives or small green onions. I also added some blanched pako or fiddlehead ferns, and some small sweet grape tomatoes, sliced.


Prepare a dressing of lime juice (in this case we had a mini-bonanza of dayap or biasong that I purchased in Bohol for PHP5 each), thai patis or fish sauce, brown sugar, chopped chilies and a bit of water. Mix all of the ingredients together and add the salad dressing. Test for a proper balance of saltiness, sweetness and zing from the citrus. Adjust accordingly. Serve immediately. This was wonderful. It had a cool, silky texture punctuated with LOTS of shrimp (don’t you hate it when a restaurant scrimps on key ingredients?) and punches of herbal flavor, sweet tomatoes and lots of spice. Totally delicious, extremely easy to make. Guests gobbled it up, and we did too. :) Oh, here’s one last tip. Chill your salad plates and put them on your place setting just before sitting down to the meal. It will make this salad even more refreshing! :)



  1. gjibrael says:

    looks delicious..definitly i will try that.thanks marketman

    May 2, 2010 | 11:24 am

  2. Anton says:

    A bit off topic here MM,

    Have you ever tried the monggo hopia being sold in Echague street in Quiapo? Im not sure but I think Carlos Celdran has included it in one of his Quiapo walking tours. The hopia has different versions, plain monggo, another has salted egg and one even has Bacon! They sell the best hopia I have ever tasted! They always come hot as they bake a new batch every hour… I forgot the name of the store but they are very near SM Quiapo and the Excellente Ham Shop. Whenever you are in the area maybe you could try some : ) It will be worth it!

    May 2, 2010 | 12:53 pm

  3. Marketman says:

    Anton, no, I haven’t had a chance to try that hopia, but will try to keep it in my memory banks for the next time I am in the area…

    May 2, 2010 | 1:09 pm

  4. Ehba says:

    I love this salad, and we are lucky to have so many oriental stores near our area. There’s bottled ready made dressing that taste so close to the one yu mentioned making here. Also I use some vietnamese coriander and bean sprouts, with additional crushed peanuts. Ummmm…. nagutom tuloy ako.

    May 2, 2010 | 2:19 pm

  5. Chito Limson says:

    I’ll second Ehba’s suggestion to add crushed peanuts. Sans the citrus (dayap and biasong), your dressing is basically the Vietnamese nuoc mam sauce — it’s also great for fresh spring rolls. Thank you for the tip on brining the shrimps first, MarketMan!

    May 2, 2010 | 2:55 pm

  6. atbnorge says:

    Awww, haven’t tried a noodle salad before—but pansit has always been my ultimate comfort food. I must try this one.

    May 2, 2010 | 11:11 pm

  7. Tess, USA says:

    @ehba: i’m just curious to know the brand & name of the dressing you use, maybe i can buy it @ the oriental store here in our area, thanks. this salad is definitely a must-try.

    May 3, 2010 | 2:20 am

  8. thelma says:

    this is quite a refreshing dish especially with the addition of
    blanched pako. i can make this dish at home, but unfortunately,
    without pako. maybe, i can have it done when i get there
    next week. thanks, mm, for sharing this recipe….

    May 3, 2010 | 3:11 am

  9. quiapo says:

    My daughter, who used to work in Vietnam as a tour guide, makes this salad and serves it as lumpia sariwa. I notice that Thai patis is specified, not Vietnamese or Filipino patis, any reason? In Australia, there are many grades of Thai patis, with ” 5 crabs” being considered special at twice the price.

    May 3, 2010 | 4:17 am

  10. Marketman says:

    quiapo, vietnamese patis would definitely work, I just haven’t found a source for good vietnamese patis in Manila, so I specify good thai patis over filipino patis. The latter I now find to be quite harsh and lacking the smoothness and flavor of the thai counterparts. Chito and Ehba, peanuts would add another textural layer and flavor punch, and is more authentic, but I personally prefer the silkiness of the salad withouot the “intrusion” of the crushed peanuts, but that is a personal thing.

    May 3, 2010 | 6:33 am

  11. psychomom says:

    read somewhere that 5 crabs fish sauce is one of the better ones available, not too malansa in smell and flavor. also if you can get golden boy brand that is even better. if you look at the ingredients some fish sauce brands have some sugar or sugar derivatives in them. good fish sauce is clear and not cloudy.

    May 3, 2010 | 7:19 am

  12. Betchay says:

    This is one of my fave salad…..really refreshing ! I like the crunch of toasted peanuts in it.
    Re: Filipino patis, I like the Rufina brand but I seldom see this now in the supermarket shelves so I settle for Lorin’s

    May 3, 2010 | 8:14 am

  13. terrey says:

    ayay, you just gave me an idea what to eat for lunch, yum won sen… :)

    May 3, 2010 | 11:33 am

  14. Vicky Go says:

    We’re experiencing HHH (hot hazy humid) weather here, too – this past weekend – prelude to full blown summer.
    Cold noodle salads like these are a boon for meals in such weather. I love Vietnamese cold sotanghon almost as much as I love their pho! And I love lots of cilantro & Thai basil too. Sometimes they add fresh chilies or jalapeno slices (for milder flavor). And yes, I always eat my noodles w lime juice & patis – hot or cold. But when I make cold soba noodles, I use Ponzu sauce instead of lime/patis combi!

    May 3, 2010 | 9:35 pm

  15. Mom-Friday says:

    I must try this very soon! I guess this can also be a great filling to make fresh Vietnamese spring roll ;D

    May 3, 2010 | 11:09 pm

  16. thelma says:

    quiapo, i am curious as to what is
    the difference between the filipino
    patis and the vietnamese patis.
    also, what brand is the better vietnamese
    patis that i can buy?

    May 4, 2010 | 4:27 am

  17. Tina says:

    na inspire ako with your post so i made this last nite before i went to bed and will have it for lunch today :)

    May 4, 2010 | 10:29 am

  18. Ric says:

    I think a sprinkling of vietnamese nuoc mam (patis) would be great on this dish. I love the nuoc mam that they serve in the restaurants. According to some recipes for nuoc mam online, it’s a combination of equal parts of the patis, sugar, water, some vinegar, and some lime juice.

    May 5, 2010 | 12:54 am


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