3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon sliced fresh red chile, preferably Thai bird chile
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 scallions, dark-green parts only, thinly sliced
3 large leaves Boston or Bibb lettuce, very thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/4 cup each fresh mint and basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook vermicelli, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy, about 4 minutes. Drain, then rinse with cold water. Let vermicelli drain in colander for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Combine water, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chile.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and scallions, and cook for 10 seconds. Remove from heat.
Toss scallion mixture with noodles in a serving bowl. Add lettuce, carrot, and herbs, and toss. Serve sauce on the side.
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