If you're looking for a delicious cold rice noodle salad recipe, you've certainly come to the right place. Featuring crunchy vegetables and a flavour-packed peanut dressing, it's a wonderful dish that's both vegan and gluten-free.
By using thin vermicelli noodles, you'll have a very quick cooking time and provide lots of surface area for the dressing to cling to. I've kept things fairly simple with carrot, cucumber, and spring onion, but you could include any veg you like.
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What is rice noodle salad?
Rice noodle salad is a cold dish commonly found in Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia. Centred around vermicelli rice noodles, it often includes crunchy vegetables and a light dressing with ingredients such as garlic, chilli, sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce.
In this vegan recipe, I've gone for a heartier dressing with plenty of peanut butter for additional flavour, texture, and nutrients.
Is this salad healthy?
While there's a little oil and refined sugar in this recipe, on the whole it's a light and healthy option for a side dish. In one serving, you'll find:
- Calories: 241 kcal
- Vitamin A: 3500 IU (70% of RDA)
- Vitamin C: 10 mg (12% of RDA)
- Protein: 5 grams (10% of RDA)
Can you eat rice noodles cold?
You can certainly enjoy rice noodles cold once they've been cooked or softened in boiling water. Once cool, it's recommended to store in the fridge as soon as possible in an airtight container and consume within three days.
You should avoid leaving rice noodles out at room temperature and, if heating the noodles, don't do this more than once after cooking.
What you'll need
The ingredients in this recipe include:
- Vermicelli rice noodles (the really thin variety)
- Crunchy veg in the form of cucumber and carrot
- Peanut butter for the base of the dressing
- Fresh lime to bring all the flavours to life
How to make rice noodle salad
Prepare all of the dressing ingredients and add these to a jug or bowl.
Mix thoroughly to combine and set aside.
Prepare the carrot, cucumber, and spring onions and add these to a large mixing bowl.
Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. For thin vermicelli rice noodles, these simply need to be soaked in hot water for 3-5 minutes or until tender.
Once tender, drain the noodles in a colander and rinse under cold water. To help prevent them from sticking, you can toss them in a little sesame oil.
Add the noodles to the bowl with the vegetables. Pour over half of the dressing and mix well, then add the other half and mix again.
I like to use a spoon and fork to help drag the noodles through the mix and combine everything.
Adjust the flavours to taste, adding any extra tamari (or soy sauce if not GF), sesame oil, or lime juice, and serve.
You'll want to use rice vermicelli noodles, which are the very thin ones. These are quick to prepare and usually just need to soak in hot water for a few minutes or until soft (but always check your package cooking instructions).
To ensure this recipe is gluten-free, use rice noodles and tamari (or a GF soy sauce that is certified as such).
Keep the rice noodle salad cold in the fridge and store for up to three days.
You can freeze this for up to three months. Defrost and heat thoroughly before consuming (meaning it won't be the cold rice noodle salad you originally made).
Variations and tips for rice noodle salad
- Veg: Carrot and cucumber are popular options in Asian dishes (see this cucumber stir-fry and cucumber salad), but you could omit these or replace with other thinly sliced veg such as peppers or courgette (a.k.a. zucchini – see also this courgette salad with peanut dressing).
- Peanut butter: I like a smooth variety but a crunchy one would add a little more texture. Either way, I'd recommend a good-quality, natural peanut butter that doesn't include extra oil.
- Chilli: I like the little kick of heat, but feel free to leave this out.
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More vegan recipe ideas
- Teriyaki Tempeh Stir-Fry
- Crispy Tofu Stir-Fry
- 5-Minute Peanut Noodles
- 10-Minute Chickpea Salad
- Easy Vegan Cheesy Pasta
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- 15-Minute Tomato Tahini Pasta
- Rainbow Slaw with Sesame Ginger Dressing
You can also check out my full list of vegan side dishes.
Rice Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing
Noodles and veg
- 2 carrots, grated or julienned (thinly sliced)
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 7 oz (200 g) dried vermicelli rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup (or maple syrup)
- 1 lime, juiced (plus more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ inch piece of ginger, minced
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
- 4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons water (plus more as needed)
- Coriander, spring onions, chilli, crushed peanuts
- Prepare all of the dressing ingredients and add these to a jug or bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine and set aside.
- Prepare the carrot, cucumber, and spring onions and add these to a large mixing bowl.
- Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. For thin vermicelli rice noodles, these simply need to be soaked in hot water for 3-5 minutes or until tender.
- Once tender, drain the noodles in a colander and rinse under cold water. To help prevent them from sticking, you can toss them in a little sesame oil.
- Add the noodles to the bowl with the vegetables. Pour over half of the dressing and mix well, then add the other half and mix again. I like to use a spoon and fork to help drag the noodles through the mix and combine everything.
- Adjust the flavours to taste, adding any extra tamari (or soy sauce if not GF), sesame oil, or lime juice. Serve with chopped coriander, sliced spring onions, red chilli, and crushed peanuts. Enjoy on its own or with grilled teriyaki tofu, teriyaki aubergine, or grilled king oyster mushrooms.📸 Recipe steps > 📖 Table of contents >
- Singapore Noodles with Tofu
- Chickpea Stir-Fry
- Vietnamese-Style Rice Paper Rolls
- Grilled Teriyaki Tofu Steaks
- Moroccan Couscous with Chickpeas
- Vegan Pilau Rice
- Courgette Salad with Peanut Dressing
- Vegan Waldorf Salad
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