This refreshing Vietnamese noodle salad is a sensation for the taste buds and perfect for a light evening meal or lunch with friends. This gluten free noodle salad is full of fresh vibrant ingredients topped off by a delicious spicy peanut dressing.
Our summer has been somewhat questionable here in NZ with a fair amount of rain and wind this year in not so sunny Auckland, but as we spent a good chunk of our winter in Vietnam I guess I can't complain!
We spent two months in Vietnam last year and the food was amazing, often simple but the abundance of fresh herbs used such as Vietnamese mint, Thai basil and coriander really brought the food alive. Each meal is easily made adaptable to individual tastes by being able to serve yourself as much fresh herbs or chili as you like - or don't like!
This Vietnamese Noodle Salad is inspired by the traditional Vietnamese Summer Rolls but is a deconstructed option that is easier to throw together - you still get the amazing flavour without having to do the time consuming rolling! And of course it's gluten free and dairy free 🙂
Summer rolls were one my favourite go to staples on our trip and were always slightly different depending on what county of Vietnam you were visiting.
The great thing about Vietnamese food - including this noodle salad - is that it doesn't leave you feeling stuffed! After eating a meal you feel satisfied and nicely refreshed.
Ordering food for our toddler in Vietnam could be a little challenging at times, but we were very lucky that he grew to absolutely love rice noodles! And why not?...... Noodles can be quite fun for a little guy!
He still can't get enough of rice noodles, so when I made this noodle salad the other day he was happily stuffing his face with it.
Tips on how to make this Vietnamese Noodle Salad child friendly.....
When I make my toddlers salad portion I omit the fresh chilies and go a bit easier on the herbs. He only likes a small amount of fresh herbs, so I chop them up a little finer so they blend in a bit more with the noodles.
I will either make another peanut sauce for him without the spice (chilies ) or if that's too much effort then he has the salad sans sauce but just with a splash of lime juice.
Additional Recipes Notes for Vietnamese Noodle Salad
- I have used an organic whole peanut butter to make the spicy peanut dressing, this will give the sauce a darker colour than the standard peanut butter you can buy at the supermarket. In my opinion it tastes nice and gives the dressing a richer flavour but standard peanut butter will also work well.
- I have also omitted Hoisin sauce, this sauce is traditionally in the peanut dipping sauces in Vietnam but it often contains sugar and additives so I have left it out, the dressing still tastes good!
Love Food Nourish Nutrition Tips
- Coriander leaves or cilantro are a good source of Vitamin K which is important for healthy bones and blood clotting, coriander is also thought to help protect against some heavy metals such as mercury. Research has shown that coriander leaves (cilantro) contains an antibacterial compound called dodecenal which is thought to protect against food borne illness such as Salmonella.
- Mint is calming and soothing to the digestive system, it also helps to stimulate bile flow which can help with the digestion of food, mint also has anti inflammatory properties.
- Mango is a excellent source of vitamin A, the antioxidant that supports healthy eyesight, skin and a healthy immune system.
- Chilies can help support a healthy metabolism, all that heat you taste requires energy production! Chilies can increase thermogenesis (heat production) in the body which can help with weight loss, clear congestion and support a healthy immune and circulatory system.
This recipe was inspired a) By our trip to Vietnam and b) by Steph in Thyme who has a vegetarian summer roll salad on her blog. Stephanies blog has lots of great gluten free vegetarian and vegan recipes.
If you are looking for other tasty asian inspired recipes you may like to try:
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
Have a lovely week!
A gluten free Vietnamese noodle salad that is refreshing and full of flavour with a spicy peanut dressing.
20 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 200gm/7oz vermicelli rice noodles
- 400gm/14oz Prawns (shrimp) shelled, deveined and rinsed
- 1 Tbspn coconut oil
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 carrot's, peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- 1 cup mango, chopped into matchsticks
- 1 cup cucumber, chopped into matchsticks
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- ½ cup mint leaves (ordinary or Vietnamese)
- ½ cup coriander(cilantro) leaves
- ½ cup thai basil leaves
- 2 medium sized birds eye chilies *Optional, omit for children
- 1 tspn coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¼ cup peanut butter* I used Chantal Organics Whole Peanut Butter
- 1 lime, juice of
- 1.5 Tbspn tamari or soy sauce* See note below
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp coconut sugar or honey
- 1 tsp finely chopped chili* Optional, omit for children
- ½ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 4 lime wedges
- Fish sauce added to taste.
- Prepare the vermicelli noodles as per the instructions on the packet, then rinse and drain the noodles.
- Melt coconut oil in a skillet or fry pan, saute the crushed garlic on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat up high and then then add the prawns(shrimp) to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until the prawns are just cooked through. Remove and set aside.
- Arrange the noodles, prawns and rest of the ingredients to make a salad or toss together in a bowl.
- Melt the coconut oil in a skillet or fry pan, saute the crushed garlic for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the dressing, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens. This should take about 5 minutes. Add more water to make consistency thinner if desired.
- To serve squeeze the juice of a lime wedge over each individual portion of salad, pour over the peanut dressing and top with the chopped peanuts. Add more fish sauce to taste if desired.
I used organic whole peanut butter which gives the spicy peanut dressing a darker colour than standard peanut butter. Soy sauce can be used instead of tamari if you are not gluten free.
Disclosure – I have not been paid, sponsored or endorsed for any products I have recommended in this blog post.