This is a light and refreshing cold rice noodle salad with crunchy veggies, fresh herbs and the choice of two different dressings.
The flavors in this cold rice noodle salad are bright and bold. Cold noodles are tossed with crunchy veggies and the protein of your choice to make a light but satisfying meal.
It's an especially refreshing meal on a hot summer day, or whenever you're craving new flavors.
Cold rice noodles: Rice noodles are the first option for this salad, but you can make it with any type of thin, long noodle.
Crunchy veggies: Cabbage, carrots and cucumber add flavor and texture. Green onion is optional.
Fresh herbs: Cilantro and mint add bursts of fresh flavor. You can also add basil.
Salad dressing: Choose from one of two dressing recipes - A bright and flavorful lemon & soy sauce dressing made with sesame oil or a bold and funky dressing made from rice vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce and brown
I like having some protein in this noodle salad, so I usually make easy weeknight tofu to go on top. Leftover chicken breast is fantastic on this salad. Cold shrimp is also good. Or skip the protein and add just add store-bought egg rolls!
Rice Noodles vs Other Noodles
If you're not familiar with rice noodles, my recipe "how to cook rice noodles" will tell you everything you need to know.
In most grocery stores in the United States, dried rice noodles are most common. In Asian markets you’re more likely to also find fresh rice noodles in the refrigerated section.
In most grocery stores in the US they are labeled simply as “rice noodles” or “rice stick” noodles.
Rice noodles are gluten free and should only have two ingredients: rice flour and water.
- For convenience, buy a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw instead of shredding cabbage and carrots yourself.
- To learn more about cooking rice noodles, read this blog post with all the details: How to cook rice noodles.
- Add additional veggies, like thinly sliced bell pepper or baby spinach.
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More Noodle Recipes
Cold Rice Noodle Salad Recipe
This cold rice noodle salad is a light and refreshing meal tossed with crunchy veggies like cabbage, cucumber and carrots, plus fresh herbs and green onion. Add tofu or shredded chicken for protein.
You have the choice of two salad dressings for your noodles. One is a bright and flavorful lemon & soy sauce dressing made with sesame oil. The other is a bold and funky dressing made from rice vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar.
This recipe was updated on 7/20/23
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Boil
- Cuisine: Asian
- Diet: Vegetarian
Cold Rice Noodle Salad
- 12 ounces rice noodles (you can also use angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti noodles)
- ½ a head green cabbage, chopped or thinly sliced
- 4 carrots, grated
- 3 Persian cucumbers, cut into thin rounds
- 6 green onions, sliced
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- ½ cup mint leaves
Lemon Soy Sauce Dressing
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup OR 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
Lime Dressing with Fish Sauce
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
Step 1: Cook the protein. Use leftover, shredded chicken breast or make easy weeknight tofu or broiled tofu. If you like the texture of raw tofu, you can just cut tofu into cubes straight from the package.
Step 2: Whisk the dressing. Choose between lemon soy sauce dressing or lime fish sauce dressing. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a boil until combined.
Step 3: Prep the veggies. Shred the cabbage, grate the carrots, slice the cucumber and green onion. Wash and set aside the fresh herbs.
Step 4: Boil the rice noodles. Follow the package instructions to cook the rice noodles. My favorite method is boiling a pot of water, then turning off the heat before adding the rice noodles. Swish the noodles around to separate. Soak the rice noodles for 6 to 10 minutes, until tender but still slightly chewy. Drain the noodles and rinse briefly under cold water. For detailed instructions, read How to Cook Rice Noodles.
Step 5: Toss the salad. Each person can make their own bowl of rice noodle salad, combining the rice noodles, veggies, fresh herbs and protein. Drizzle dressing on top and toss well.
To keep this salad fresh and crunchy, store each ingredient separately in the refrigerator (dressing, noodles, veggies) and toss together right before eating.
Leftover rice noodles taste best if eaten within 1 to 2 days. If the leftover rice noodles become too firm or stick together, rinse them briefly under cold water to bring back a softer texture.
The lemon soy sauce dressing is fantastic over any type of salad, especially crunchy slaw. Noodle are optional!
Keywords: rice noodles, rice noodles salad, cold rice noodle salad