I am notorious for picking up unusual ingredients and letting them languish in the pantry. Israeli couscous is one of those ingredients. It's pearl shaped pasta that is not dried but toasted. Ages ago I picked some up at a specialty food store thinking of a ton of great ideas. And then they all disappeared. I had NO idea what to do with the stuff!
I looked up a ton of recipes but none of them were really catching my fancy. I was prepared to just give up on finding something new and just boil it up and cover it in pesto. While I bet that would still have been delicious I was so excited to happen upon this recipe for Vietnamese couscous salad. Israeli couscous is combined with marinated ground beef and topped with a delicious Vietnamese style dressing and toppings. I am not a huge ground beef fan (except when found in amazing homemade burgers) so I thought I would use this recipe as inspiration and see what I came up with.
Vietnamese Israeli Couscous
Inspired by The Food in my Beard
- 1 cup of Israeli couscous
- 1 medium carrot, washed and diced
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 - 1 large jalapeño, seeded and diced
- Mint and Cilantro, handful of each, roughly chopped
- 1/2 head of Romaine lettuce, mainly the white and light green part, chopped, large pieces torn
- 1/2 English cucumber diced
- Avocado to top (optional)
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add couscous, cook for 3 minutes then add carrots. Cook until the couscous is tender 3 to 4 minutes.
In a small bowl combine fish sauce, lime juice, honey, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Add jalapeño, I started with only half but I like things pretty darn spicy so I added the other half.
Combine cooked couscous and carrots with dressing. Toss in romaine, cucumber, mint and cilantro.
I topped mine with avocado for a little break from the heat (woo those jalapeños creep up on you)!