Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Salad

With Spring -FINALLY- settling in London, salads have become my new dinner staple. Even though I’m quite loyal to a good Caprese salad (yay, mozzarella!), there was some time last week when I simply couldn’t get the idea of a Bahn-Mi sandwich off my head. But since it is impossible to find a good baguette in London (believe me, I’ve tried!), I decided to go for a Bahn-Mi inspired salad. And it was delicious!Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladFor two people, you’ll need:

  • one carrot, cut into thin ribbons (I did this using my vegetable peeler)
  • one lime
  • fresh chilli (I used about half)
  • one clove of garlic
  • mint
  • chives
  • 5 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons of fish sauce (+ some to serve)
  • 1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • about 10 radishes
  • 200g uncooked prawns
  • baby gems (to serve)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (to serve)

(Yes, that IS a lot of stuff. It just happens that my kitchen’s cupboards are better stock than most stores…)

Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn Salad1- Prep your (quick pickled) carrots: In a box with a lid, mix the carrot ribbons and a teaspoon of salt. Close the box and shake it off. After a few minutes, rinse off the salt. Add the rice vinegar and the brown sugar. Close the box and shake it until the sugar has dissolved. Leave it to the side until you’re ready to serve.  
Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn Salad
Onto the rest of the prep: Dice your garlic, cut up your chilli and slice off your herbs, your cucumber and radishes. Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladAs it happens, rolling the mint makes it much easier to chop, in case you were wondering!Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladMarinate your prawns: in a bowl, mix the prawns, the lime juice, the sliced chilli and chopped garlic. Add the fish sauce, mix thoroughly and leave to marinate for about 30 minutes.

Once that’s over, pour the whole lot in a pan and cook until dry (the marinade should entirely evaporate).

Dress your plate as nicely as you can starting with the salad leaves and piling up all the other goodies on top (cucumber, radishes, pickled carrots, prawns). Add a bit of fish sauce (about one tablespoon will do) and a dash of sesame oil, as well as salt and pepper (and maybe a sprinkle of chilli pepper if you want).
Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladCake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladTop up with fresh herbs and admire your work… or you know, just tuck in!Cake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladCake + Whisky | Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Prawn SaladWhat’s your favourite salad? Looking for inspiration, hit me with your recipes!

Bahn-Mi inspired Vietnamese Salad

5 Quick, Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas

I’m one of those people who always, ALWAYS carry food everywhere they go. No matter where I’m going, it’s extremely likely you’ll find some sort of snack in my bag. And by “some sort of snack”, I mean enough food to feed a small army. For several days.

Of course, I am also obsessed with lunchboxes but I tend to almost carry the same things (mainly leftovers). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with leftovers BUT if I want to make sure I don’t get food-envy come lunchtime (and end up going down to Pret for some chocolate croissants), I clearly needed some change! So I’ve been working on some healthy-bunny recipes over the looooong weekend and here 5 of my favourite new lunch ideas!

No-carb Burritos with Broccoli & Avocado (V)
Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas
Inspired by a few of Chocolate & Zucchini‘s recipes (see links underneath).

(Serves 1) Prep your charred broccoli/avocado/tahini salad as explained here (I added chilli flakes and pomegranate seeds too). Make a one-egg omelette as explained here. Over-fill your omelette (isn’t that the only way to make a burrito anyway?). Serve with more charred broccoli.

Now that I think of it, I’m sure the salad would be lovely with hard-boiled eggs mixed in too (and probably more convenient to put in a lunch box…).

Warm green beans salad with Jamon and walnuts
Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasInspired by Chocolate & Zucchini‘s excellent eponymous book.

(Serves 1) Cook green beans in salted boiling water. Meanwhile, make a grain mustard + olive oil + cider vinegar + black pepper dressing. Toss in the beans. Sprinkle with Jamon (I brought mine back from Barcelona!), walnuts and grated parmesan. 

Zucchini noodles alla puttanesca (V)Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasInspired by The Londoner‘s brilliant “Slutty Pasta but adapted to be vegetarian!

(Serves 1) Using a vegetable peeler (or a spiralizer if you have one of those!), make linguine-like ribbons with 1 big-ish zucchini. In a pan, cook 2 cloves of garlic into a spoonful of olive oil until slightly caramelized. Add in 6-8 sliced black olives, a spoonful of chopped capers and a pinch of chilli flakes. Toss in 1/4 of a can of tomatoes, 2 table spoons of soy sauce and let the whole lot reduce for a few minutes. Pour the sauce on your coodles and top with cracked black pepper, a little bit of olive oil and some grated parmesan.

Pan-fried kale, soft boiled eggs and parsley sauce (V)

Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas(Serves 1) In a food processor, blend 4 garlic cloves, half a bunch of parsley , salt, pepper and olive oil until you get a fairly homogenous green sauce. Put a pot of water to boil. When it is, add in your eggs and cook for 5 minutes, then cool the eggs under cold water and shell them off. Pan-fry about a bowl of shredded curly kale in a spoonful of olive oil (add a bit of water if it browns too quickly). Sprinkle with salt, dried garlic, black pepper and chilli flakes. Top with the sauce. 

Vietnamese Prawn SoupCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas 1(Serves 2) In a big saucepan, fry some ginger, a few garlic cloves and the white part of a couple of spring onions. Add in two carrots cut into little straws, half a can of sweet corn and a few handfuls of bean sprouts. Add in some stock (I used some I made, but that would work as well!). Season with salt, chilli flakes, fish sauce and soy sauce, thenadd in your prawns (I used frozen un-cooked ones). Let the whole lot simmer for a few minutes, then pour the soup in a bowl and top with the green part of the spring onions, a small handful of chopped mint leaves and chives. 

What did you have for lunch today? Anything I could be inspired by? I’m always looking for new ideas!!

5 Quick, Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas