Brimming with colorful, crunchy vegetables, this vibrant and refreshing rice noodle salad is a feast for the eyes. With lots of options for substitutions, it’s destined to be a favourite in your rotation of refreshing (and healthy!) summer meals to revisit all year round.
One of the great things about this recipe is it’s endless adaptability. You can use your favorite noodles (I go with a flat pad thai style rice noodle or sometimes a brown rice spaghetti). Feel free to substitute any raw vegetables you have on hand, such as cabbage, cucumber, asparagus or broccoli. The spicy almond butter sauce is also extremely versatile: if you don’t want to use almond butter, you can use any nut or seed butter, such as peanut, cashew, or even tahini. Adjust the spice level to your taste by adding more (or paring back) the sriracha.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Scroll to the bottom of the recipe card for ingredient notes and substitutions.
Recipe Step by Step:
Step 1. Boil the Noodles
Cook the noodles according to the instruction on the package. Cook times and techniques can vary brand to brand. Once the noodles are done, drain them through a colander then rise under cold water to cool them down. Once cool, toss with sesame oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
Step 2. Make the Spicy Coconut Almond Butter Sauce
Once you have all of your ingredients gathered and measured this sauce comes together very easily. Whisk together the almond butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, sriracha, honey, fish sauce and lime juice until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Step 3. Slice the Vegetables
The vegetables in this salad should be sliced into thin matchstick-like strips to mimic the shape of the noodles. The easiest way to do this is with a julienne peeler or a mandoline slicer fitted with a julienne blade. If you don’t have either of these handy tools you can follow this tutorial to achieve a similar result.
Step 4. Toss and Serve
Toss the sliced vegetables, dressing and noodles together in a large mixing bowl. Divide between bowls and top with chopped cilantro, scallions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve chilled.
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Chilled Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Coconut-Almond Butter Sauce
Spicy Coconut-Almond Butter Sauce
- 1/4 c almond butter
- 1/4 c coconut milk
- 2 tbsp soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp sriracha or gochujang
- 2 tbsp honey or brown sugar
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp lime juice about 1 juicy lime
- 8 oz dried flat rice noodles (pad thai)
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 zucchini
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper
- 2 large carrots peeled
- 4 whole scallions thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds optional
- Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the noodles, stir to prevent sticking, and cook according to the package instructions until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water until the noodles are completely cold. Toss with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to prevent sticking, set aside.
- While the noodles are cooking make the sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, sriracha, honey, fish sauce and lime juice. Set aside.
- Slice the zucchini and carrots into very thin matchsticks. The easiest way to accomplish this is with a julienne peeler or a mandoline, but a sharp knife and careful cutting works too. Slice the bell pepper in half and cut away the core, seeds and excess pith; discard. Lay the pepper halves on the cutting board, skin-side down, and use a sharp knife to thinly slice into matchsticks. Place all of the sliced vegetables into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the noodles and sauce to the bowl with the sliced vegetables. Toss to coat. Divide between bowls and top with chopped cilantro, sesame seeds and scallions. Serve chilled with extra lime wedges on the side.
- Almond Butter:If you don’t want to use almond butter, you can use any nut or seed butter, such as peanut, cashew, or even tahini.
- Rice Noodles: My favorite noodles to use for this salad are dried flat rice noodles (the same ones used for pad thai). That being said, you can really use almost any style of noodle or pasta for this salad. Soba noodles would be great, even a gluten-free brown rice spaghetti or linguine. The only type I would advise against is vermicelli rice noodles as they are very delicate and might not hold up as well to the thick and creamy almond butter sauce.
- Chilled Rice Noodle Salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The almond butter sauce thickens as it sits. To refresh it, add a tablespoon or two of water to loosen up the noodles and sauce.