Too hot to cook? You need to try this chilled peanut noodle salad! This salad is easy, gluten-free and vegan. I make a big batch and keep it in my refrigerator; it’s the perfect meal for a hot day — cold, refreshing and super tasty.
You can make the peanut sauce up to 5 days ahead and store it in the refrigerator. It’s absolutely to-die-for. It makes a great dip for vegetable crudités and summer rolls too. You can also soak and drain the rice noodles a day ahead and store them in the refrigerator; just make sure the noodles are in an airtight container so that they don’t dry out.
Feel free to add whatever vegetables you have on hand to this recipe. Steamed broccoli, steamed asparagus, cherry tomatoes or sweet corn will all taste great in this noodle salad. Sometimes I also throw in a little tofu for extra protein.
Cold Peanut Noodle Salad
Serves 1 to 2
For the noodles:
- 2 ounces rice noodles
- 1/2 cup carrots cut into matchsticks
- 1/2 cup cucumber cut into matchsticks
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- 1 stalk green onion, chopped
- 3 sprigs of mint, leaves only, chopped
- 3 or 4 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
For the peanut sauce:
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- Chili sauce, like Sriracha, according to taste
- 2 tablespoons water
- Bring a medium saucepan full of water to a boil. Once it boils, turn off the heat and immediately submerge the rice noodles in the water. Let the noodles soak until they become pliable, about 2 minutes. Drain the noodles well and set aside to cool. You should have about 2 cups of noodles after draining. Take care not to oversoak the noodles or they will become mushy.
- While the noodles are cooling, work on the sauce. Place all peanut sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. If the sauce is too thick, add water one tablespoon at a time.
- When the rice noodles have cooled, place them in a medium bowl, along with all other ingredients for the noodles, as well as the peanut sauce. Gently toss until everything is well combined. Serve the noodle salad right away at room temperature or refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes and serve it cold. Noodle salad will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days.
Photo credits: Sala Kannan