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Asian Noodle Salad

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This bright and colorful Asian Noodle Salad is a gluten-free vegan meal that's filled with fresh vegetables and tossed in a spicy creamy nutty dressing

  • Author: Yumna Jawad
  • Posted:

Asian Noodle Salad Recipe

This is an Asian Noodle Salad where all the hype is not about the noodles but the spicy creamy peanut dressing I make with it. It’s a simple salad that you can make ahead of time. Actually, I recommend that you make it ahead of time! Basically it’s noodles drenched in said dressing and tossed with crunchy colorful vegetables. This is the type of salad you can really have as a full meal for lunch or dinner. Best part is that it’s gluten-free since it’s made with rice noodles, and it’s totally vegan!

Asian Noodle Salad being served

How to Make Asian Noodle Salad

There are three steps to the salad: 1) prepare the vegetables, 2) prepare the noodles 3) prepare the dressing. Each step will take you about 5 minutes. So it all comes together pretty effortlessly and quickly. For the vegetables, I use red peppers and carrots. Sometimes I’ll even add red cabbage, sugar snap peas or broccoli. I recommend cutting them julienne style if you can or spiralizing whatever vegetables you can because it creates a great presentation that way!

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For the noodles, you can really use any noodles you’d like, including soba noodles, buckwheat noodles or even spaghetti and linguine. I usually go to the Asian section of the grocery store and look for stir fry noodles. Most of them are rice based and the only ingredients are rice flour and water. That’s the kind I picked for this Asian noodle salad. That’s because it’s gluten-free so it makes the meal feel lighter. Also, its texture absorbs the dressing really well without make it mushy.

Dry rice noodles in a pot before cooking

The cool thing about these rice noodles is you can place them in a pot of large bowl, soak them in boiling water and just let them sit without any heat for a few minutes until the texture gets soft. The boiling water alone cooks them. I recommend stirring frequently though to make sure the noodles don’t get stuck together.

After a few minutes, they will look like this and they’re ready to be tossed:

Collage of two images showing rice noodles after cooked in a pot and then in a slotted spoon

How to Make Asian Salad Dressing

To make the dressing, it’s common ingredients you’d find in Asian stir-fries, but the vinegar plays an important role in giving it a tangy taste to make the dressing. I also use peanut butter to make it thicker and give it a creamy nutty taste. The other ingredients are soy sauce, sriracha, olive oil, ginger, garlic, and sugar (optional). You can whisk everything together. But I prefer using a tiny blender to crush the garlic and ginger and get all their flavors incorporated.

You may want to double up on that dressing because you can use it as a marinade for chicken, fish or beef later in the week, or make more Asian Noodle Salad!

Ingredients to make asian noodle salad, including cooked rice noodles, vegetables and the creamy peanut dressing

When all three parts of the recipe are prepped, it’s time to toss everything together.

You may find that the amount of sauce it too much for the noodles. Or you might be like me and find it just perfect because each noodle will literally be drenched in the creamy peanut dressing. And that, to me, is a beautiful thing!

Creamy peanut dressing getting poured over rice noodles to make Asian Noodle Salad

I love how each ingredient in the dressing plays an important role in rounding out the flavor and giving it an irresistible taste. I mean really, if nothing else, just make the dressing, you guys!

Then, just give it a good toss and taste it. You can make it more salty by adding more soy sauce, more nutty by scooping in more peanut butter, or more spicy by bumping up that sriracha.

Tossing the Asian Noodle Salad in a large white bowl with tongs

Tips for Making Asian Noodle Salad

  • Don’t rinse the rice noodles, or any other noodles you use, with cold water after they cook. That’s because the warm pasta will better absorb the dressing much better than cold rinsed pasta will. Actually this is a great tip for any pasta salad you make!
  • Allow the salad time to settle for best flavor. The cool thing about the noodles we’re using is that they don’t get soggy but continue to absorb the flavor of the dressing and taste better after settling. That makes this salad perfect for lunches, picnics or potlucks. No need to take dressing with you!
  • Add moisture back into the salad after 3-4 days by saving some of the dressing for later. Or you can whisk together rice vinegar and soy sauce to add moisture back into the salad if it gets dry.
Large bowl of prepared Asian Noodle Salad served with peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges

This gluten-free vegan Asian Noodle Salad with the Asian-inspired dressing is such a delicious meal that’s full of color, flavor and nutrition. I haven’t found anyone who doesn’t enjoy eating the salad when I make it. And I love that it’s versatile so you can use any noodles you’d like, any vegetables you’d like and even throw on some protein of your choice to make it an even more filling meal.

Large bowl of prepared Asian Noodle Salad served with peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges. Two serving utensils mixing the salad to serve

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Asian Noodle Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

I created this blog post first on May 11, 2017. I am updating it today to include improved new step-by-step images and a video tutorial!

For more salad recipes, check out:

5 from 3 votes
Asian Noodle Salad being served
Asian Noodle Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

This bright and colorful Asian Noodle Salad is a gluten-free vegan meal that's filled with fresh vegetables and tossed in a spicy creamy nutty dressing

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: dinner ideas, Gluten free, healthy, lunch ideas, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 328 kcal
Author: Yumna Jawad
Ingredients
  • 7 oz rice noodles
  • 1 cup carrots julienned or spiralized
  • 1/2 cup red peppers julienned
  • Fresh cilantro for serving
  • Roasted peanuts for serving
  • Lime wedges for serving
Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons Tamari sauce or soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter smooth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha or to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon cane sugar optional
  • 1 thumb ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
Instructions
  1. Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Most brands of rice noodles only require the rice noodles be placed in boiling water for 5 minutes and stirred a couple times. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.
  2. While the rice noodles cook, pour the Tamari sauce, rice vinegar, peanut butter, olive oil, Sriracha sauce, cane sugar, ginger and garlic into a small blender or food processor to make the dressing.

  3. Transfer the cooked noodles to a large bowl. Then add the spiralized carrots, red peppers and cilantro to the cooked noodles.
  4. Pour the dressing over the rice noodles and vegetables, and toss to combine.
  5. Serve with roasted peanuts, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro and lime wedges, if desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge. And because I used rice noodles, they actually hold their structure well for a few days even after tossed in the dressing.

Make Ahead Tips: You can make the dressing a day in advance or up to 30 days in advance actually, and have it ready to go in the fridge.

Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However you can use any noodles of choice and vegetables of choice. If you don't have rice wine vinegar, you can use lemon or lime juice instead.

Equipment: I love using my Cuisinart Smart Stick hand blender for blending dressings, especially when I use garlic or ginger in the dressing. It's quick and easy and gets me the perfect consistency, without any chunks of garlic or ginger left over.

Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition value is for 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Asian Noodle Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 328 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 947mg 39%
Potassium 237mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 50g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 118.6%
Vitamin C 33.2%
Calcium 2.8%
Iron 5.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Comments

  • Reply
    Wallflower Weekly Finds, 201 - Cooking with a Wallflower
    January 18, 2019 at 2:04 am

    […] love all sorts of noodles so this Asian noodle salad is exactly what I’m looking […]

  • Reply
    Shannon
    January 16, 2019 at 10:18 am

    This sounds so good! Just wanted to ask about something, in the tips it says not to rinse the noodles but in the directions it says you should. Which way is best for this dish? Excited to try it!

    • Reply
      Yumna Jawad
      January 16, 2019 at 10:57 am

      Hi Shannon, sorry for the confusion. In the directions, you’re actually cooking the noodles in boiling water by letting them soak in the water. But I recommend not rinsing them with cold water after you cook and drain the noodles. I’ll clarify that a bit more in the post now. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

  • Reply
    Zaina
    November 28, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Wow this is the real deal! No need for take out anymore, yum!

  • Reply
    Emily Kemp
    August 21, 2018 at 2:15 am

    This looks so delicious and comforting, I love the flavor combination!

  • Reply
    Millicent Pitts
    October 17, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Spicy Asian Noodle recipe….about how many does this serve for a small, appetizer sized portion?

    • Reply
      Yumna Jawad
      October 17, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      Hey there! Since this recipe is more of a salad, the nutrition facts are for appetizer sized portion, so I would say it’s perfect for 6-8 people. Hope you love it! 🙂

      • Reply
        Shannon
        January 16, 2019 at 11:31 am

        Got it, thanks for answering! Just wanted to make sure I make it the right way 😄

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