Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yum Ham (Spicy Ham Salad)

Because I don't know the origin of this Spicy Ham Salad, I gave it a generic but descriptive name. All I know is the dish was always present at birthday and wedding celebrations...and I LOVED IT! It is not often that I make it but when I do, it never sits around very long.

To describe how this salad tastes, I would say "ceviche-like" in that it is salty, sour and spicy! So if that is not your taste, I won't be offended if you skip this post. If you are in the adventurous mood to try something bold, here is my recipe:

The reason I list the ingredients before the amount is because this recipe is all about proportions. Use more of what you like and less of what you dislike.

Vermicelli Noodles (6 to 10 oz. pack)
Ham (about 8 oz. (½ lb.) block of ham like Jennie O's or pre-sliced ham)
Onion (½ of large or 1 whole sweet or yellow)
JalapeƱos (4 to 6 seeded or unseeded, depending on your threshold for heat)
Fish sauce (¼ cup)
Garlic (3 teaspoons crushed)
Lime (1 whole, squeezed)
Lemon (1 whole, squeezed; if you don't have one or the other then make sure to have two of each)
Sugar (1 teaspoon, white)
Black pepper (1 ½ teaspoon, grounded or freshly cracked)

1) Bring about 2 quarts water to a boil and turn off.
2) Soak 4 to 6 bundles of vermicelli for about 2 minutes. I like more noodles so I soak 6.
3) Drain, rinse with cold water and squeeze excess water out (or you might have mushy salad).

Cut noodles in half with sheers so the noodles are easier to eat less you wanna play out the kissing scene in Lady and the Tramp.

Thinly slice ham, onions and jalapeƱos. Combine in a bowl with vermicelli.

Whisk together
  • ¼ cup fish sauce (or less if you're not a fan of salty things like I am)
  • Garlic (3 tablespoons)
  • Juice of lime (1 whole squeezed)
  • Juice of lemon (1 whole squeezed)
  • Black pepper (1 ½ ground and/or freshly cracked)
  • Sugar (1 teaspoon)
Pour mixture into main bowl and mix. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour for juice to form. The salad gets hotter the longer you refrigerate but too long and the garlic will make the salad bland. Enjoy!!

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