Ever have a hangover the day after Thanksgiving? I'm not talking the red wine kind (although that's always possible), but rather the gluttonous, stomach-won't-budge-variety from pigging out on too much holiday chow.
A walk around the block about 100 times is always helpful, but this isn't an exercise column. I'm more concerned with those turkey leftovers, begging to be used in a way that doesn't involve sandwich bread or stroganoff fixin's.
Instead of cream sauce or reheated gravy, consider waking up that fat-laden palate with a much-needed punch of lime, ginger and chiles. Along with some Vietnamese fish sauce and garlic, you'll make a dressing that lifts the turkey out of its autumnal skin. Add some cellophane noodles (available at an Asian grocery) and a cilantro garnish, and you've got the makings of a southeast Asian salad paradise.
With a bowl of these zesty noodles, a hangover may never have seemed so welcome.
Vietnamese-Style Turkey Noodle Salad
Adapted from "Feast" by Nigella Lawson
4 tablespoons water, boiled
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh chiles to taste, seeded and diced (1 habanero is plenty)
2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
4 tablespoons fish sauce (aka nam pla)
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup turkey, shredded or sliced into thin strips
6 ounces beanthread or glass noodles
1 cup bean sprouts
3 scallions, green part removed, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
4 slices soft green lettuce
Optional: 1 red or yellow pepper, julienned; 1 cup sugar-snap peas
• For the dressing, add sugar to water in a small bowl and stir until completely dissolved. Pour into a medium mixing bowl. Add the remaining dressing ingredients. Dressing will keep in airtight container in the fridge for several days.
• Marinate turkey in 1/4 cup of the dressing. Meanwhile, soak noodles in boiled water and allow to rehydrate until pliable, about 25 minutes. Drain and in a colander, rinse under cold water. Rinse bean sprouts and drain so they are not dripping with water.
• In a large bowl, combine turkey, noodles, scallions, bean sprouts and optional vegetables. Add oils and remaining dressing, if necessary. Add cilantro and toss to combine. Serve on lettuce leaves. Makes four servings.
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