Even though it’s officially autumn here, this Vietnamese Cashew Noodle salad has been making a regular appearance on our table. I love it because it’s super easy to make, it’s deliciously fresh, and is bursting with exotic flavours that transport me to tropical locations far far away! It’s also completely plant-based, gluten and soy free.
The only equipment you need for this recipe is a peeler (ideally one that julienne’s but a regular grater would also work), a knife and a bowl of boiling water to soak the noodles. There’s absolutely no cooking required.
The flavours and textures are just amazing. Fresh ginger, lime, garlic and chilli form the base of the Vietnamese nuoc cham inspired dressing. I left out the traditional fish sauce element to keep this recipe completely plant-based, and instead substituted it with coconut aminos (aka coconut tamari sauce).
Bean thread noodles (aka glass noodles) form the base of this salad with their soft sparkly texture, and provide an element of protein. Add to that fresh carrot and cucumber strips for a some crunch, alongside bean sprouts and toasted cashews. Sping onions add a spike of green alongside fragrant coriander leaves.
This salad is so well rounded it’s perfect all by itself. But feel free to up the protein content by adding crispy tofu or tempeh or any other protein that takes your fancy. If you can’t find a particular vegetable, simply swap it for something similar, or just leave it out.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Vietnamese Cashew Noodle Salad with Chilli Lime Dressing
Prep time: 20 minutes
2 bundles (approx 125g) bean thread noodles (glass noodles)
1 cup mung bean spouts
2 spring onions
1 cup coriander leaves
1/2 cup cashews, toasted
Chilli Lime Dressing
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup coconut aminos (coconut tamari sauce)
2 limes, juiced
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cm piece ginger, grated
1 tsp chilli flakes
To toast the cashews, preheat your oven to 160C fan bake. Place the cashews on a lined baking tray in the centre of the oven and toast for approximately 10 minutes, or until cashews have turned golden brown.
Place the noodles in a large heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for approximately 10 minutes, or until noodles are soft. Drain, then use scissors to cut them into shorter, fork-friendly lengths.
While the noodles are soaking, peel the carrot and use a julienne peeler (or grater) to shred into strips. Place strips into a second mixing bowl.
Wash the cucumber and julienne into strips (including skin) until you reach the seeds which you’ll have to discard, then add to the bowl.
Wash and drain the bean sprouts and add to the bowl.
Wash the spring onions, finely chop and add to the mixing bowl.
Wash the coriander, pick the leaves off of the stems and add to the bowl, along with the toasted cashews and noodles.
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight lid. Shake until well combined, pour over the salad and toss well.
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days, although the coriander will start to wilt. So if you’re making this salad ahead of time, leave the dressing off until just before serving.