This Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad is loaded with fresh herbs and veggies, dressed with a sweet chili vinaigrette, then topped with crushed roasted peanuts. It can be made with rice noodles, bean thread noodles, or my new favorite “Sea Tangle”, noodles made out of kelp. Serve the refreshing salad with crispy tofu or grilled chicken for a flavorful satisfying meal that is packed full of flavor. Think of this as a fresh spring roll, but in a bowl. Super tasty, healthy and light and full of great Vietnamese flavor!
If you are curious about the kelp noodles, this is what they look like. They are a very low carb alternative to noodles and can be found in a bag, in the refrigerated section of Asian Markets and upscale markets. Locally, I’ve seen them at Huckleberrys and Best Asian market on Sprague.
The salad is loaded up with fresh mint, basil and cilantro. Crunchy vegetables like carrots, cucumber, radishes or red bell pepper work well in the salad. I tucked some purslane in as well, but this of course is optional. The salad would be vegan, if it were not for the fish sauce, but I can’t bear to leave it out, it adds such good flavor here. But if so inclined, try making this vegan fish sauce or leave it out and either season the salad with salt and a tiny splash of soy.
- ⅓ cup rice vine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, or honey
- 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce (or vegan substitute, or salt to taste and/or tiny drizzle of soy)
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- ½ red onion, sliced very thin- or use a shallot
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4-5 ounces uncooked rice vermicelli noodles, bean thread noodles or "sea tangle" ( clear kelp noodles)
- 2 cups julienned carrot
- 2 cups julienned cucumber
- 1 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
- ¼ cup quick pickled red onions or shallots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil- optional- see notes
- * feel free to sub other veggies for the carrots and cucumber- like zucchini noodles, red bell, turnip, kohlrabi, radishes.
- Place the first 6 ingredients in a small sauce pan, bring to a simmer, simmer five minutes and place in the fridge to cool.
- Cook noodles according to directions. If using sea kelp noodles, no need to cook.
- Place drained rinsed noodles in a large bowl and top with veggies and herbs. Toss well. Add the the chilled dressing and herbs, tossing well. Top with crushed roasted peanuts.
- NOTES - If using sea kelp, drizzle the whole salad with 2 tablespoons olive oil, which will help the texture.