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Vietnamese-Style Rice Noodle Salad


Serves 6 to 8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 112

Packed with bright lime flavor, a touch of spicy heat, and just the right amount of crunch, this noodle salad is great for lunch or dinner.

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 large limes)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. minced ginger
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Thai bird chile, seeded and minced 
  • 8 oz. dried rice noodles (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • 8 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce (from 1 large head)
  • 1 large carrot, shaved into ribbons (use a vegetable peeler)
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled if you like, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 5 medium radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, cilantro, fish sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and chile and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and stir immediately. Cook the noodles, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water until cool to the touch.

In a large salad bowl, combine the noodles with the lettuce, carrot, cucumber, radishes, and mint leaves. Toss the salad with the dressing and garnish with the peanuts.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 200, Fat (kcal): 5, Fat Calories (g): 45, Saturated Fat (g): .5, Protein (g): 5, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5, Carbohydrates (mg): 36, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1.5, Sodium (g): 530, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

This recipe could really be improved with the addition of some sesame oil. I found it did not meet my expectations of the salty/sweet combo.

this dish is delicious. don't blame the recipe if you can't cook a noodle. added more fish sauce on top because I am a fish sauce addict. also added cooked shrimp on top. fresh and minty and salty and YUM.

Made this for a group of friends with Thai Beef salad and thought it was a great combination. As the other reviewer stated you can cook the noodles in hot water and drain. I found that I needed a very large bowl to mix it all properly, in the end I used a very large tupperware bowl and mixed with my hands. I used more lime juice and fish sauce proportionally but like many recipes you can adjust the taste for your audience, this time I didn't make it as spicy.

Disappointed. The rice noodles were gummy even though I watched them carefully and rinsed them thoroughly. I've seen other recipes where the noodles are soaked in hot water and then rinsed once they are soft. I have had better results that way. I also felt something was missing, not the proper mix of sweet, salty, sour and hot. Bummed because I made a large amount of this and served it with chicken gang gai. Tomorrow I will make a batch of nuoc cham and add it and hope to save it for a second use.

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