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Cold rice noodle salad

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

This is the perfect Vietnamese-influenced salad for those warm summer days, refreshing, super healthy, stunningly beautiful and absolutely delicious. Super easy to make too!

I have always found noodle salads exotic and fun and this salad is no exception. The fresh vegetables and tender noodles are smothered in a delicately balanced dipping (or pouring over) sauce. The trick of this salad is to get the sauce perfect, the spice (chillies and ginger), the salt (soy sauce), the sour (lime juice) and sugar should balance each other and not compete with each other. This delicate balance is what this salad is about. In addition, I leave the herbs whole, this gives us a tremendous pop of flavor rather than the subtle flavors that we are traditionally used to.

I serve this salad with grilled meats. The grease and charred flavors compliment the fresh flavors of the salad wonderfully.

You can either dice (as I have done) or cut the vegetables into small strips for this salad. It all depends on how you want to present it. This is just a sampling of vegetables used in the original recipe, feel free to add or substitute vegetables as desire, some suggestions are broccoli, snap peas, radish, apples, tomatoes, and the list goes on.

This is a wonderful book for one dish meals, pho, ramen, Korean bibimbap, salads and rice bowls from across Asia are perfect for any occasion. I go to it often when I want a great single dish meal.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


For the dipping sauce:

1 serrano chilli

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon ginger paste

3 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Salt to taste (Careful, the soy may have enough salt)

For the salad:

Asian-style rice vermicelli or thin rice noodles

1 cucumber, diced or cut into small strips

2 carrots, diced or cut into small strips

1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, diced or cut into small strips

3 scallions, diced or cut into small strips

1 pack smoked, baked or plain tofu, diced or cut into small strips

1 head lettuce of choice, leaves shredded or left whole

1 cup mixed herbs, cilantro, mint, basil, leaves left whole

Toasted peanuts

Hard-boiled eggs, quartered

To make the dipping sauce:

Add all the ingredients except the sauce, and blitz in a small blender till smooth. Taste and adjust for sweet, sour, spice and sweet. Allow the sauce to come together for 1 hour in the fridge, and taste again. Adjust as needed and keep chilled.

To assemble the salad:

Cook the vermicelli/noodles as per the instructions on the container. Keep the noodles "al dante" with a bite. Drain completely and chill. Asian noodles tend to get sticky when clumped together, to avoid this, keep the noodles in a small amount of chilled water.

Assemble the ingredients, cut vegetables, noodles, eggs, tofu and herbs in a large bowl. Sprinkle the peanuts on top and serve with the dipping sauce on the side.

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