Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad- for the perfect springtime lunch! Bursting with freshness and asian-inspired flavor, it really is just the perfect combination of light and hearty.
and what I mean by that is…this salad makes you feel great but fills you up too!! (if you’ve ever eaten a salad for dinner you’ll know what a blessing that is!)
What is Rice Vermicelli?
Let’s start with our main ingredient. Rice vermicelli are thin noodles most commonly used in asian cuisine for stir fry, salads, and soups. Buy them dried(they come in about three- four bunches per package), and soak in boiling water to cook. Pretty simple!
You might be wondering if there is a difference between vermicelli and bean curd noodles, and there is. While you can substitute the vermicelli in this recipe for bean curd noodles you should know-
Bean curd, (or glass noodles/cellophane noodles, as they are called) are translucent, while vermicelli are very solid white when cooked. Personally, I think the vermicelli are a bit more hearty and filling!
If you have a bag of bean curd noodles, try this Chicken Long Rice recipe– a delicious Hawaiian staple with chicken, noodles, and mushrooms.
How To Make Vermicelli Noodle Salad
- First you want to gather all your ingredients. This is called “mise en plase”, in French, or “everything in its place”.
- Soak the vermicelli noodle in hot water for 3-5 minutes. Drain.
- Saute onion and slice peppers. Keep this saute nice and quick so the onions still have some crunch!
- Saute the chicken with garlic and ginger.
- Prepare sauce.
Tips for Assembling a Beautiful Salad
This noodle salad has a lot of pretty colors- the starch white noodles, red pepper, and fresh mint & scallion.
- Showcase those colors! Instead of throwing together the whole thing in a bowl(which you could do!), I like to layer the salad components on a large platter or wide serving bowl. You could also make individual salad bowls…
- Start with the rice noodle- take little bunches and twist them together to make little piles. One pile for each single serving or simply cover the bottom of a large platter with noodle twists.
- Next add the pepper and onion. Leave a little noodle showing at the edges- the red looks lovely against the white!
- Pile the chicken in the center.
- Sprinkle the green onion- be generous, the onion adds lots of flavor!
- Leave some of the mint leaves whole and arrange them around the dish.
- Don’t skip the black sesame! These look great against the noodles. I keep a container of these for garnish in my spice drawer- you should too.
Vietnamese Salad Dressing/Sauce
Before I made this recipe I cooked a chicken dinner with this incredible Vietnamese inspired sauce. My thought- this would be perfect as dressing on an asian noodle salad!
For the dressing we use a base of soy sauce, sesame oil, and sweet chili sauce, with added honey and brown sugar for depth of flavor.
We also use fresh garlic and more green onion, and cook the sauce for a few minutes to meld the flavors and dissolve the sugars. I like an extra spicy kick so I use 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes– but you can leave them out if you’re not one for spice!
Substitutions are how new recipes are made! Don’t fret if you are missing some ingredients. Check the list below.
- Bean curd noodles can be used instead of the Vermicelli noodles. Soak for the same amount of time.
- In place of pepper you could use carrot strips, bean sprouts, or even try Bok Choy(I LOVE THE STUFF).
- Cilantro can be used instead of green onion.
- If you don’t like mint(like my husband), you can leave it out, although I will admit this salad is so much more special and “fresh” tasting with it!
This Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Salad is great as a main dish, and you can serve it along with Crunchy Vegetarian Thai Spring Rolls, or alongside delicious Korean Chicken Katsu, for the full spread!
I hope you love this noodle salad as much we do. Be sure to leave a review and a comment below if you make it, and always share your photos with us on Instagram!(they make my day!)
As always, Happy Cooking!
Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad (with crispy chicken)
- 340 grams dried vermicelli noodles (12 ounces)
Onion and Pepper
- 1 TBSP olive oil, divided can use vegetable oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 3 TBSP oil
- 2 clove garlic crushed or chopped
- 2 TBSP fresh ginger grated or smashed
- 450 gram chicken cubed or sliced into strips
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, large grinds
- 3 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 TBSP brown sugar
- 1 TBSP sesame oil
- 1 TBSP honey
- 1 TBSP sweet chili sauce
- 2 TBSP water
- 1 clove garlic, crushed or chopped
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes optional
- 1/8 cup green onion sliced
- 7 mint leaves some torn and some whole
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds
- Prepare noodles according to package instructions: Usually- Add noodles to a large bowl or container and pour over boiling water. Let sit about 5 minutes until softened; drain.
Pepper, Onion, Chicken
- Add one Tablepoon oil to a skillet or fry pan and add the onion, cook for 2 minutes until just softened but still crunchy. Set aside.
- In the same frying pan add the 3 Tablespoons oil and then the garlic and ginger. Add the chicken and cook until crispy and golden. Season with salt(1/2 tsp) and pepper(1/2 tsp).
- While the chicken is cooking, add all sauce ingredients to a small pot over medium heat. Heat until thickened slightly and the sugar has dissolved, 2-3 minutes. (stir often to prevent burning).
- Arrange little coils of noodles on a large platter or in individual serving bowls. Add onion and pepper strips on top, leaving some white noodles peeking out at the edges. Add chicken to the center. Pour over the dressing.Sprinkle the chopped green onion over evenly, and arrange the mint leaves to look pretty. Sprinkle the black sesame over the noodles on the edges. Serve warm- or cold! Enjoy!
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