Green beans, cashews, mint, carrot, cucumber, and lime shine through the pearly noodles in this very pretty, mood-lifting dish. The noodles will seem undercooked at first, but they will soften as they absorb the marinade and the moisture from the other ingredients. If you cook them all the way, the finished dish would be mushy.
• Rice noodles of various thickness can be purchased inexpensively in most Asian-themed grocery stores, some supermarkets, and online. Use medium-thin ones for this recipe.
• You can freeze the unused coconut milk in an ice cube tray, then transfer the cubes to a heavy-gauge zip-style bag for making this (or something else) in the future. Don’t forget to label the bag.
• Frozen unsweetened mango chunks are widely available in supermarkets, near the other frozen fruit - and can easily stand in for fresh. It’s easiest to dice it while still frozen. Use 1 heaping cup.
• The green beans can be halved lengthwise for extra elegance, if you have the patience and a nice, sharp knife. You can also just cut them in half across the middle.
• This tastes best within a few hours of being assembled. So plan accordingly.
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar or agave nectar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon minced or crushed garlic
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or canola oil
Half a can reduced fat coconut milk (about ¾ cup)
4 ounces medium-width rice noodles
1/3 pound slender green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 small (6-inch) cucumber —peeled only if the skin is bitter, and diced
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
1 ripe, sweet mango—peeled, pitted, cut in 1/2-inch dice —or a generous cup diced frozen mango
About 10 fresh mint leaves, in thin strips
1 cup lightly toasted cashews, chopped or whole
• Minced jalapeno scattered through
• A touch of lime zest to give it more zing
• Lime wedges
• Toasted unsweetened coconut on top
• Minced basil (regular or Thai) and/or cilantro on top
• Chili paste or Sriracha on the side
Little Soup Snack: A treat for the cook. Don’t discard any leftover coconut-graced cooking liquid. Instead, make it into a little cook’s snack by adding tiny touches of lime juice, sugar, salt, garlic— and a torn basil leaf. Sip happily while finishing the recipe