Thai Noodle Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing
Well hello there, strangers!
I’ve had this recipe locked and loaded for weeks, and have opened it to finish at least five times in the last ten days, but I kept getting distracted before I could hit publish.
Then this week I was away in Toronto, meeting super-smart people and learning really interesting things (I will share more soon!).
You might have caught snippets of the trip on my Instagram story. I’m still figuring out important things like how to draw on a tiny touch screen with my uncooperative pointer finger, where to focus my eyes when talking to my selfie cam, and generally how to not be annoying (all forms of tips and sympathy will be accepted while I figure this out.)
And that brings me to now, which involves sucking down coffee and trying hard to catch up/stay afloat with blog/work while my nanny is on (much-deserved) vacation for a month.
I realize that through all of this busyness I’ve kinda missed the boat on summery cold noodle salads as everyone is quickly jumping on the pumpkin spice train (which I will be doing in a nanosecond – choo choo!) but first let me share this flavour- and texture-packed salad.
We gravitate a lot toward Asian flavours, so rice noodles are a go-to for us, for salads, and meals like pad thai. We’ve had this herby, thai-inspired salad on repeat (pictured alongside simple honey-soy marinated pork chops). It would be perfect with satay beef or chicken skewers, too.
From mid-summer into fall we live almost entirely off of farmer’s market fare, so I improvise most meals with whatever I bring home. The salad was shot when we still had snap peas available locally, but we’ve since moved on to broccoli florets, shredded carrot and cucumber, kohlrabi, etc.
Leftovers make an excellent lunch. Add some grilled chicken or seared tofu and you have a satisfying full meal.
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 lb snap peas trimmed (or 1/2 to 1 lb of any market veggies, like blanched broccoli, zucchini or green beans, ribboned raw kale or other greens, shredded carrot, cucumber, brussels sprouts, cabbage or kohlrabi, thinly sliced radishes - basically anything).
- 1 250- gram package rice stick noodles
- 1 cup cilantro coarsely chopped
- 1 cup mint coarsely chopped
- 1 shallot minced
- 1/3 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
- Whisk together all ingredients for dressing.
- Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it well. Blanch the snap peas (and/or any other tougher veggies you're not shredding) for a few minutes until crisp-tender then use a small colander, slotted spoon or tongs to remove them (keeping the boiling water) and plunge the veggies into an ice bath to cool quickly.
- Add the rice noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package directions, or until just tender (about 5 minutes for the brand I use). Plunge them in the ice bath, too.
- Drain noodles and vegetables by dumping them into a big colander and picking out and discarding any remaining ice cubes. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with herbs, shallot and dressing to coat. Top with peanuts. Serve chilled or room temperature.