Rice Noodle Pancakes with Vegetable Topping

7 ounces rice noodles
vegetable oil for shallow-frying
2 ounces roasted cashews
Vegetable Topping
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 baby eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 small fresh red chilies, sliced
6 spring onions, sliced diagonally
2 carrots, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup reduced-salt soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar

1 To make topping, heat olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add eggplant slices. Cook, turning frequently, for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

2 Heat sesame oil in same pan. Add garlic, chilies, spring onions and carrots. Stir-fry for 5 minutes or carrots are just tender. Remove from pan.

3 Add soy sauce, vinegar and sugar to pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens. Add eggplant and carrot mixture. Simmer for 3 minutes. Keep warm.

4 Cook noodles following packet directions. Drain and dry on absorbent kitchen paper. Divide noodles into six portions.

5 Heat vegetable oil in frying pan over a medium heat. Add noodle portions and flatten with a spatula. Cook for 4 minutes each side or until golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

6 To serve, top each pancake with some of the vegetable mixture. Scatter with cashews.

Cook's tip: Also known as rice vermicelli or rice sticks, rice noodles vary in size from a very narrow vermicelli style to a ribbon noodle about 1/4-inch wide. Before cooking, soak the narrow noodles in cold water for about 10 minutes and the wider ones, about 30 minutes. Once soaked, these noodles take just 2-3 minutes to cook.

Serves 6



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