Indulge in a vibrant and delicious Thai noodle salad featuring wholesome, fresh veggies and a mouthwatering peanut sauce that will take your taste buds on a journey to Southeast Asia. This easy-to-make recipe boasts an exquisite combination of Asian flavors and textures that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
This Thai rice noodle salad is super easy to make and only takes a few minutes to prepare. I like to use rice noodles for the base, but you can really use any type of noodle you like. The key to making this salad really tasty is in the dressing. I used a simple combination of soy sauce, peanut butter, and rice vinegar. You can also add in a little bit of chili sauce or hot sauce if you like things spicy.
This recipe pairs well with this spring roll.
- rice noodles you can also use brown rice noodles
- red cabbage
- yellow bell pepper or red bell pepper
- shallots or a small red onion
- vegetable oil
- rice wine vinegar or lime juice
- peanut butter
- sauce soy
- fresh cilantro
- Unsalted peanuts
- Green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
See recipe card for quantities.
Notes on the main ingredients
The rice noodles can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets.
For the carrots, I like to use a box grater to get them nice and fine, but you can also use a food processor or even just chop them by hand.
Purple cabbage can be found in most supermarkets, but if you can't find it, you can also use green cabbage or even a coleslaw mix.
The bell pepper can be any color you like, I usually use yellow because it's what I have on hand, but red or green would work just as well.
The shallots can be found in most supermarkets, but if you can't find them, you can also use onion or even green onions.
The rice wine vinegar can be found in most supermarkets, but if you can't find it, you can also use white vinegar or even apple cider vinegar.
The honey can be found in most supermarkets, but if you don't have any on hand, you can also use sugar or even agave syrup.
The soy sauce can be found in most supermarkets, but if you can't find it, you can also use tamari or even fish sauce.
For the cilantro, I like to use a food processor to get it nice and fine, but you can also chop it by hand.
The optional garnishes are not necessary, but they do add a nice touch.
Step-by-step with photos
Step 1: Wash and prepare your vegetables.
Step 2: In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients of the dressing.
Step 3: Place the cooked noodles and vegetables in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and combine well.
Hint: You can serve it immediately, but it is better to place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
Notes on the recipes
- It’s best to use store-bought processed peanut butter over natural peanut butter. The natural variety tends to separate, so you won’t get the desired consistency.
- You can use a pre-shredded vegetable mix to save prep time.
- You can top the cold noodle salad with sambal oelek or sriracha for a bit of spice. If that’s too spicy, but you still want a kick, add in some grated garlic.
- You can sprinkle the salad with some crunchy peanuts for an extra nutty flavor and a pretty presentation.
- Make extra creamy peanut sauce in case anyone wants some more when eating.
- Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes for the best flavor. This will allow the ingredients time to seep into the noodles better and add much flavor.
- Rinse the noodles after boiling them with cold water to prevent them from sticking
- You can serve this salad cold or at room temperature
Place the Asian noodle salad in an airtight container and leave it in the fridge for 3-4 days max. Do not freeze, as the texture will change, and the salad will get soggy.
Rice noodles are used in this recipe, but soba and ramen noodles are also good choices. Some recipes use spaghetti, but it’s best to stick with Asian noodles over Italian pasta to make the recipe more like the original version.
If you can’t find rice vinegar, you can use white vinegar instead. You can substitute it using a 1:1 ratio.
What are the other substitutions I can make?
Honey: brown sugar or agave syrup
Soy sauce: tamari soy or hoisin
Add in some protein to make it a hearty meal, or enjoy it as a side dish. It pairs well with Asian-style grilled chicken or spicy tofu.
It’s best not to use a different nut butter, as they tend to separate easily. This could lead to an oily noodle salad. If you have a peanut allergy, it’s best to use Tahini instead or add 2 teaspoons of roasted sesame oil.
Any protein would work well in this salad. Add in some fried tofu, rotisserie chicken, or edamame. You can add in other veggies like broccoli or cucumber. You can also add sunflower seeds and crunchy noodles on top.
Thai Noodle Salad
- 8 ounces rice noodles
- 2 carrots grated
- ¾ cup purple cabbage shredded or thinly sliced,if you are in a hurry, use coleslaw mix
- 1 yellow bell pepper diced
- 2 shallots diced
Peanut Butter dressing
- ¼ cup vegetable or olive oil
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup peanut butter creamy
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
- crushed peanuts
- green onion
- sesame seeds
- In a large pot of water, begin by cooking the rice noodles according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- While the noodles are cooking, take this time to wash and prepare your vegetables. Grate the carrots and shred the purple cabbage diced the bell pepper and the shallot.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, rice wine vinegar, honey, peanut butter, and soy sauce. This will create a delightful and smooth peanut sauce.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice noodles with the grated carrots and shredded purple cabbage. Pour the peanut sauce on top and toss until everything is evenly coated. Top cilantro and other garnish of your choice.