This light and refreshing vermicelli glass noodle salad gets its inspiration from one of my favorite lunch dishes: Vietnamese Bún salads. Fresh veggies and herbs are tossed together with a tangy rice vinegar dressing for a light and tasty meal. I chose raw vegetables like carrots, cucumber, sweet red pepper and green onion. But this noodle salad pretty much goes with any of your favourite vegetables. Edamame, bean sprouts, even shredded lettuce are great add-ins.
Pimp your glass noodle salad
I decided to keep this “Bún” salad a vegetable only version (plus a little citrus) but it is also really delicious with fried tofu or prawns. And as far as preparing the vegetables goes, you can get fancy and use a julienne slicer to get nice strips of carrots or cucumber, but I choose to use a mandoline to slice the carrot into super thin disks and the rest I sliced by hand. I also added some orange segments for a little extra citrus flavor and sweetness. Julienned mango is also a great choice.
The dressing is really easy to make, although it took me many times to create one that I thought went best with this glass noodle salad. In the end, I decided on this version which is made with a base of Thai fish sauce, Japanese rice vinegar and fresh lime juice. It’s boldly refreshing, tangy, and a little bit spicy, thanks to fresh ginger, chili and garlic.
What are vermicelli noodles?
Cellophane vermicelli noodles, are also called bean threads or glass noodles and are made from a combination of pea and mung bean starch or other starches from vegetables like green beans, potato, or sweet potato,. When cooked, they have a slippery, gelatinous feel and look translucent. The greatest thing about them is that there is practically no cooking involved. They soften quickly when soaked in boiling water, so can be prepared in minutes. Look for them at your local Asian supermarket. They look very similar to rice noodles, so if you are not sure whether they are rice or glass noodles, just check the ingredients.
Looking for other Asian Noodle Salad recipe inspiration?
Simple glass noodle salad
For the glass noodle salad:
- 200 g vermicelli glass noodles
- 1 pointed red pepper, (or half a bell pepper) thinly sliced
- 1/2 english cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, sliced into thin coins with a mandolin
- 1 orange, peeled and cut into segments
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 small handful coarsely chopped mint leaves (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 small bunch coriander leaves, leaves picked
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
For the dressing:
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar (Japanese)
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 limes)
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce (Thai nam pla)
- 2 tablespoons Mascabado raw cane sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
Cook the vermicelli glass noodles according to package instructions (3-5 minutes). Drain using a sieve and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
Transfer the noodles to a large bowl, and toss with the dressing.
Add the remaining ingredients (red pepper, cucumbers, carrot, orange, green onions and herbs) and toss gently to combine.
Divide among two serving plates, garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy!
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