As far as we’re concerned, this dish solely exists as a vehicle for fried garlic and shallots. But if it’s just absolutely not possible to make these magical golden crisps, add toasted cashews and/or peanuts and/or toasted (unsweetened) coconut flakes to give it some savory crunch. (But please promise us you’ll make the fried garlic and shallots another day.) We’re not adding quantities here because it’s really a throw-together/taste-as-you-go thing. Just tweak the sauce proportions until it tastes delicious!
In a small bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients and tweak as needed; you want it to be tangy, a bit salty and quite delicious. In a large bowl, toss the vermicelli with the fennel, oodles of herbs (slice the basil leaves if they’re giant, but otherwise we usually leave the herb leaves whole), cucumbers and scallions, if using. Dress the vermicelli with the vinaigrette and a handful of fried garlic and shallots, and toss to combine. Sprinkle more savory crispy bits on top, grab yer chopsticks, and go!