Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Tahini Dressing
Vietnamese food is one of my very favorite things to eat out: it’s fresh, bursting with flavors and relatively healthy compared to other dining options. Which means I can go more often! 99% of the time, I will order a bun bo: a dish made of rice vermicelli topped with raw carrot, cucumber, fried shallots, peanuts and cooked beef, served with a sweet sauce. It’s to die for and…you guessed it, today’s noodle salad is directly inspired by this Vietnamese favorite!
The store was out of the vermicelli I was looking for so I used these linguine-style rice noodles instead and it worked perfectly. I skipped the meat altogether to make it vegetarian but feel free to add cooked chicken, beef or pork. And if you happen to have fried spring rolls on hand – you never know – then throw them in the bowl too, it’s muy delicioso! Oh and I also used raw shallots instead of the fried ones because 1. hello! less fat and less calories, thank you; 2. it adds some “freshness” to the dish and I like that!
The sauce I made is absolutely not the traditional one served with bun bo but I have a weakness for tahini sauce and I figured it would be perfect with these ingredients. I’ll let you be the judge of that but me thinks it was really good!
Cal: 430.8 - Protein: 9.4g - Fat: 8.1g - Carbs: 80g - Fiber: 4g - Sugar: 10g
WW Old Points: 8 pts - Points+: 11 pts
- 14 oz - 400 grams rice noodles
- 1 Continental cucumber, peeled
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 5 tsp shallot, minced
- 1 heaped cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 heaped cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 5 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped
- 1 small chili, chopped - optional, quantity to taste - remove seeds for less heat
- the juice of 1 lime
- the juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp tahini (I used unhulled) - also known as sesame paste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)
- 1 tsp fish sauce (leave out for vegetarian)
- 2 tbsp honey
- salt, to taste
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. To speed up the process, you can also add just about a cup of water in the bottom of the pot, turn on the heat and boil the remaining water in a kettle. When the water boils in the kettle, transfer it to the pot. It will boil almost instantly.
- Add noodles and cook for 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse immediately under cold water to stop the cooking process. Spread noodles on a clean cloth to dry.
- While the water is boiling and the noodles are cooking, prepare the other ingredients for the salad. Cut the cucumber into small and thin sticks. Grate the carrot (using the bigger hole), and soak up the moisture with paper towel. Prepare remaining ingredients as mentioned in the ingredient list.
- Make the dressing. Combine all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. I used my mini-blender for that, super convenient for small quantities! You can also use a bowl and a whisk but make sure it's really smooth.
- Arrange noodles in five bowls or plates. Top with cucumber, carrot, shallot, cilantro, mint, peanuts and chili if using. Serve immediately with the dressing on the side.
- If you want to make this salad ahead, prepare all the ingredients but assemble and add the dressing at the last minute.