My summer salad craving is in full effect! I have been making salads almost weekly, especially kale salads. Easy Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing is a good one and so is Apple Cranberry Bacon Kale Salad. I make that second one all the time! But today I’m trying a completely different type of salad: rice noodle salad—specifically this Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. It’s cold noodles topped with tons of veggies and served with homemade peanut sauce. I love peanut sauce, and adding a little bit of spice to it sounds so perfect. I can’t wait to try this one!
Rice Noodle Salad is a quick and easy summer meal. Tons of crunchy veggies, flavorful herbs, crispy toppings, and a creamy spicy peanut butter sauce make this dish absolutely irresistible.
I had a few things for this salad on hand like honey, hot sauce (Crystal, my favorite), crunchy peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. I even had some leftover rice noodles, but not quite enough for this recipe. That left me with a good-sized shopping list.
I found almost everything at my regular grocery store. They didn’t have Persian cucumbers, so I went with half of an English cucumber. And they did have edamame, but it was frozen steam-in-bag still in the pods. I cooked them in my microwave and shelled them the day before I made the salad.
Most everything was easy to find except the fried onions. I have never had them before, but I found them on the aisle with the salad dressing. They are salty savory goodness! I swear I could eat them like potato chips.
The only item I couldn’t find was the red cabbage. All they had was bags of shredded green cabbage with carrots and a few other veggies mixed in. I ended up sending hubby to another store to find red cabbage, and my shopping was complete.
Most of the prep work for my Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce was slicing the vegetables. I put on a medium saucepan of water to boil and added a colander and bowl of ice water to the sink and got to it.
A sharp knife and mandoline made it easy and relatively quick. The mandoline was very handy when it came time to julienne the carrots, slice the cucumber, and shred the cabbage. I used my chef's knife for the rest.
The water boiled while I was slicing the veggies, so I took a short break from that to boil them. They were done in 5 minutes, and I strained them using the colander and then popped the colander into the bowl of ice water. A quick swish with my hand a minute or two later told me they had cooled, so I transferred them to the bowls.
Pasta bowls were perfect for this salad. They are shallow but have a very large circumference. This salad has a lot of veggies, and I was able to fit everything (even the dressing bowls) thanks to their large capacity.
Next, I finished up the vegetables and made the dressing. The instructions say to whisk it, but I put it into a sealed container and shook it to blend. It took some work to break up the peanut butter!
When that was done I was ready to assemble. That meant adding the dressing to small condiment bowls, then surrounding it with all the veggies. I noticed the recipe’s photo had lime wedges to garnish, so I added some to my salads too.
This recipe lists a total time of 15 minutes. I took a bit longer than that:
- 14 minutes to prep the vegetables and cook the noodles
- 5 minutes to mix the dressing
- 5 minutes to assemble 2 salads
- 24 minutes total
I’m not sure where the slow-down happened. It might be that I julienned the carrots myself instead of buying them pre-done. I took the time to peel them, cut them into small sections, and julienne them with my mandoline. It also roughly chopped the cilantro. Neither seemed to take long, but that’s the only thing I can think of that caused me to take an extra 9 minutes.