Crispy noodles add a pleasant textural element to meat-filled lettuce wraps. Vermicelli rice noodles cook quickly in hot oil; you can prepare them as you assemble the lettuce wraps or make them ahead of time. Pay careful attention to each batch so you can pull the noodles out of the oil before they scorch.
Separate the dried vermicelli rice noodles into sections. Cut them into 4- to 5-inch lengths.
Pour 3/4 cup of canola oil into a wok. Place the wok over medium-high heat to warm the oil for 1 minute.
Insert the ends of two to three long noodle strands into the oil. Watch for the ends of the noodles to quickly puff up. Wait another minute if they don't.
Drop the noodles into the hot oil in batches. Wait for 5 seconds, then flip the noodles with tongs. Remove them with a slotted spoon after another few seconds or when they expand and turn white.
Drain the crispy noodles on paper towels. Sprinkle salt on them, if you wish.
- Alexandra Cristina Negoita/Demand Media