In a large pot, bring water to boil and add egg noodles. Stir noodles so that they don’t stick together. Cook for 60 secs until noodles al-dente. Drain in colander and rinse under cold water to remove excess starch and to prevent from sticking together.
Spread out on a baking tray to let noodles cool down.
Dust dried noodles with corn flour.
In a large frying pan or deep pot, bring oil to a simmering point. You can test it by dropping a short strand of noodles into the oil and see if it quickly bubbles around it and fries.
Once heat is ready, slowly drop noodles into oil to fry for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown colour. Remove and place on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Give wombok a good wash and shake dry.
Place the wombok cut side down, trim and remove the base of wombok. Thinly slice the wombok leaves starting at the bottom with the white leaves. Set aside for mixing.
Make a diagonal cut and trim the stem of red cabbage to remove it. Then place cabbage cut side down and thinly slice the cabbage leaves. Set aside for mixing.
Peel and shred carrot into matchsticks.
Slice apple into thin matchstick strips and place into a bowl of salted cold water. When ready to assemble, remove from water and pat dry with paper towels.
Wash spring onions, remove roots and chop into 0.5cm rounds.
Wash coriander leaves well and roughly chop.
Place sugar and hot water into a bowl and mix until sugar dissolves. Add fish sauce, lime juice and grated ginger. Mix well and taste. At this point you can add more lime juice or sugar depending how tangy you like it.
Wash coriander sprigs well and finely chop. Add into dressing.
Finely chop chilli and add to dressing.
In a large mixing bowl, toss wombok, red cabbage, carrot, apple and spring onion together.
Then add ¾ of the crispy fried noodles, coriander, peanuts and sesame seeds and mix well with vegetables.
If you are ready to serve, add half the dressing and toss well. If you are not ready to serve, leave this step out and only dress when ready to serve.
Transfer salad to your serving bowl. Scatter remaining crispy fried noodles, coriander, peanuts and sesame seeds on top to serve.
You can omit making your own crispy fried noodles and purchase pre-made ready to eat crispy fried noodles at the local supermarket. They work well too. This would cut your cooking time down.
You can choose your own gluten free / egg free noodles depending on dietary requirements.
Omit peanuts from salad if you have a nut allergy. It works well without as well.
The dressing can be adjusted according to taste. Add more lime if you prefer more tangy. If you prefer less heat, deseed chilli and add only half the chilli to the dressing first. However, if you love spice then I would use 2-3 chillies for this dressing. Alternatively you can omit the chilli from the dressing and have a small bowl of chopped chilli on the side for your guests to add their own spice.
Only dress salad when ready to serve. Wombok absorbs liquid quickly and of course you don’t want soggy crispy fried noodles.
The salad works well with a variety of proteins mixed in to make it a complete meal. Try chicken, steak, prawns or firm tofu.
Definitely a great accompaniment to Asian styled main meals like grilled lemongrass chicken, sticky pork ribs or whole barramundi.