April 8th, 2012
Make the Dressing: Put the cumin seeds in a small skillet and dry-roast over medium-high heat, sliding the skillet back and forth over the burner to prevent burning, until the cumin exudes a pleasant aroma, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Let cool, then grind in a spice grinder. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and sauté until limp. Season with the sugar, cayenne, salt, cumin and fish sauce, and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Add the lime juice to the dressing and stir to mix. Set aside.
Make the Salad: Mound the charcoal in one side of the grill, leaving the other side empty. Heat the grill.
While waiting for the grill to get hot, drain the glass noodles. Add to a pot of boiling water and cook for 5 to 6 seconds, then drain and rinse with cool water. Squeeze to extract the excess water.
Cut the noodles into 2-inch lengths and put in a large bowl. Add the fennel, scallions and lemongrass. Toss gently. Cover and set aside.
Thread 5 to 6 potatoes onto each metal skewer. Spray generously with vegetable oil and place on the grill over medium-high heat. Grill, turning occasionally to prevent burning, until the potatoes are slightly charred and tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the turmeric on the grill. Grill, turning occasionally until slightly charred, about 15 minutes. Lay the eggs on the empty side of the grill, without coals, and turn occasionally until the shells turn slightly dark and the eggs are cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove everything from the grill and let cool.
Cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks and place in the bowl with the bean threads. Peel the carrot, grate and add to the bowl. Peel the eggs and slice into bite-sized wedges. Add to the bowl.
Pour the dressing over and mix well. Transfer to a serving platter.