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Saigon Noodle Salad Recipe

A refreshing and zesty dish, the Saigon noodle salad is a blend of vibrant flavors and textures. This salad combines the crunch of fresh vegetables, the softness of rice noodles, and the tanginess of a special dressing. It's a meal that's light yet satisfying, making it perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.

Saigon Noodle Salad Recipe
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Photos of Saigon Noodle Salad Recipe

This recipe calls for some unique ingredients that might not be present in every kitchen. The key components are the rice noodles, fish sauce, and sriracha chile sauce. Rice noodles are gluten-free and lighter than regular pasta, making an excellent base for the salad. Fish sauce, a staple in Vietnamese cuisine, lends a distinct umami flavor. Sriracha adds a spicy kick to balance the sweetness of the dressing. When shopping, look for these items in the Asian or international aisle.

Ingredients for Saigon Noodle Salad

Rice noodles: Soft and light, rice noodles absorb the flavors of the dressing very well.

Fish sauce: An essential Vietnamese ingredient, fish sauce provides a deep, savory flavor.

Sriracha chile sauce: This adds a touch of heat to the dressing.

Napa cabbage: Slightly sweeter than regular cabbage, it adds crunch to the salad.

Carrots: These provide a slightly sweet crunch and vibrant color.

Shrimp: Adds a protein punch to the salad. You can also use chicken or tofu.

Bean sprouts: Adds a fresh, crunchy texture.

Cucumber: This cools down the heat from the sriracha and adds freshness.

Green onions, mint, cilantro, basil: These herbs brighten up the flavor of the salad.

Peanuts: These add crunch and nutty flavor.

One reader, Claudina Burgos says:

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I recently tried the Saigon noodle salad recipe and it was a game-changer! The flavors were vibrant and refreshing, and the combination of ingredients was just perfect. The dressing added a zesty kick, and the fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables made it a delightful meal. I highly recommend it!

Claudina Burgos

Techniques Required for Saigon Noodle Salad

How to prepare the dressing: Whisk together water, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and sriracha until the sugar is dissolved.

How to cook the rice noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a full boil, then remove from heat and soak the rice noodles in the hot water for 1 minute. Stir to separate the noodles and continue soaking for about 3 minutes more until the noodles are tender. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water until cooled. Shake the noodles in a colander to drain as much water as possible.

How to assemble the salad: Mix the cooked noodles, cabbage, carrots, shrimp, bean sprouts, cucumber slices, green onions, mint, cilantro, and basil together in a large bowl.

How to dress the salad: Drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

How to garnish the salad: Top the salad with chopped peanuts.

How To Make Saigon Noodle Salad

Aside from the sour & savory Vietnamese-inspired flavors of this noodle salad, it also has fresh cabbage, cucumbers, and carrots tossed in with some shrimp.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes
Cool Time: 5 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Dressing:

  • ¼cupwater,or more to taste
  • 3tbsplime juice
  • 3tbspfish sauce
  • 3tbspbrown sugar,or more to taste
  • 1clovegarlic,minced
  • 1tspfresh ginger root,minced
  • ½tspSriracha chile sauce

For Salad:

  • 8ozrice noodles,(1 package) linguine-width
  • 2cupsnapa cabbage,thinly sliced
  • cupscarrots,matchstick cut
  • 8ozshrimp,grilled
  • 1cupbean sprouts
  • ½English cucumber,halved lengthwise and cut into thin slices
  • 2green onions,thinly sliced
  • 2⅔tbspfresh mint,chopped
  • 2⅔tbspfresh cilantro,chopped
  • 2⅔tbspfresh basil,chopped
  • ½cuppeanuts,coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Whisk water, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and Sriracha together in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a full boil; remove from heat and soak rice noodles in the hot water for 1 minute.

  3. Stir to separate the noodles and continue soaking for about 3 minutes more until the noodles are tender. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water until cooled.

  4. Shake noodles in colander to drain as much water as possible.

  5. Mix noodles, cabbage, carrots, shrimp, bean sprouts, cucumber slices, green onions, mint, cilantro, and basil together in a large bowl.

  6. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Top with chopped peanuts.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 426.52kcal
  • Fat: 10.22g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.45g
  • Trans Fat: 0.01g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4.69g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.24g
  • Carbohydrates: 66.40g
  • Fiber: 5.32g
  • Sugar: 12.70g
  • Protein: 18.92g
  • Cholesterol: 71.44mg
  • Sodium: 1565.07mg
  • Calcium: 150.39mg
  • Potassium: 652.54mg
  • Iron: 2.92mg
  • Vitamin A: 512.01µg
  • Vitamin C: 29.58mg

Essential Technique for Perfecting Saigon Noodle Salad

To ensure your rice noodles don't stick together after cooking, rinse them under cold water immediately after draining. This stops the cooking process and removes the excess starch, which can cause the noodles to clump together. After rinsing, give them a good shake in the colander to remove as much water as possible before adding them to the salad. This will help the dressing to adhere better to the noodles, enhancing the flavor of your Saigon noodle salad.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare all the ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

One-pot wonders: Look for recipes that allow you to cook everything in a single pot or pan to minimize cleanup.

Batch cooking: Make larger quantities and freeze individual portions for quick and easy meals later on.

Invest in tools: Use kitchen gadgets like food processors and mandolines to speed up prep work.

Plan your meals: Create a weekly meal plan to organize your grocery shopping and cooking schedule efficiently.

Use leftovers: Repurpose leftovers into new dishes to save time and reduce food waste.

Follow the recipe: Read through the entire recipe before starting to ensure you have all the ingredients and understand the steps.

Substitute Ingredients For Saigon Noodle Salad Recipe

  • water - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can add a savory depth of flavor to the dressing, similar to the lightness of water.

  • fish sauce - Substitute with soy sauce: Soy sauce can provide a similar umami-rich, salty flavor to the dressing.

  • brown sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can add sweetness to the dressing while also providing a hint of floral flavor.

  • lime juice - Substitute with lemon juice: Lemon juice can offer a similar level of acidity and brightness to the dressing.

  • rice noodles - Substitute with soba noodles: Soba noodles can provide a nutty flavor and a similar texture to rice noodles.

  • napa cabbage - Substitute with bok choy: Bok choy can offer a similar mild, crunchy texture to the salad.

  • shrimp - Substitute with tofu: Tofu can provide a vegetarian alternative with a similar texture and ability to absorb flavors.

  • bean sprouts - Substitute with snow peas: Snow peas can offer a similar crunch and fresh, green flavor to the salad.

  • english cucumber - Substitute with regular cucumber: Regular cucumber can provide a similar crisp texture and mild flavor to the salad.

  • fresh mint - Substitute with Thai basil: Thai basil can offer a similar aromatic and slightly sweet flavor to the salad.

  • fresh cilantro - Substitute with parsley: Parsley can provide a fresh, herbaceous flavor similar to cilantro.

  • fresh basil - Substitute with mint: Mint can offer a similar aromatic and slightly sweet flavor to the salad.

  • peanuts - Substitute with cashews: Cashews can provide a similar nutty flavor and crunch to the salad.

Presenting Saigon Noodle Salad in Style

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the salad in a visually appealing manner, ensuring that each ingredient is showcased beautifully on the plate.

  2. Incorporate contrasting textures: Introduce a variety of textures, such as crunchy peanuts, tender shrimp, and crisp vegetables, to add depth and interest to the dish.

  3. Emphasize vibrant colors: Highlight the natural colors of the fresh ingredients to create an eye-catching and appetizing presentation.

  4. Utilize edible garnishes: Incorporate edible flowers or microgreens to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the dish.

  5. Create height and dimension: Build the salad upwards to create a visually striking presentation, allowing the different components to stand out.

  6. Pay attention to plate composition: Ensure that the elements are balanced and distributed evenly on the plate, creating a harmonious and visually appealing composition.

  7. Use high-quality serving ware: Select elegant and refined serving dishes that complement the vibrant colors and textures of the Saigon noodle salad.

  8. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Skillfully drizzle the dressing over the salad in an artistic manner, adding a touch of finesse to the presentation.

  9. Employ precision in plating: Pay attention to the placement of each component, using precise and deliberate movements to create a visually stunning arrangement.

  10. Highlight the freshness of the ingredients: Emphasize the freshness of the ingredients by presenting them in a way that showcases their natural beauty and appeal.

Essential Tools for Making Saigon Noodle Salad

  • Whisk: A kitchen tool used for whipping and mixing ingredients such as dressings and sauces.
  • Large pot: A cooking vessel used for boiling or simmering large quantities of food, such as pasta or soup.
  • Colander: A bowl-shaped kitchen utensil with perforated holes used for draining liquids from food, such as pasta or vegetables.
  • Bowl: A round, deep dish used for mixing ingredients or serving food.
  • Knife: A cutting tool used for slicing and chopping ingredients.
  • Cutting board: A flat board used for cutting and preparing food.
  • Colander: A bowl-shaped kitchen utensil with perforated holes used for draining liquids from food, such as pasta or vegetables.
  • Grater: A kitchen tool used for grating or shredding ingredients such as carrots or cheese.
  • Measuring cup: A tool used for accurately measuring liquid or dry ingredients.
  • Measuring spoons: Small spoons used for measuring ingredients in precise amounts.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for combining ingredients together.
  • Saucepan: A deep cooking pan with a handle used for making sauces or heating liquids.
  • Strainer: A kitchen tool used for separating liquids from solids.
  • Chopping board: A flat board used for cutting and preparing food.
  • Spatula: A kitchen tool with a broad, flat, flexible blade used for lifting and turning food.
  • Tongs: A kitchen utensil with two arms and a pivot near the handle, used for picking up and manipulating food.
  • Ladle: A long-handled spoon with a deep bowl for serving soups and sauces.
  • Peeler: A tool used for removing the outer skin of fruits and vegetables.
  • Food processor: A kitchen appliance used for chopping, blending, and pureeing ingredients.
  • Mortar and pestle: A tool used for grinding and mixing ingredients, especially spices and herbs.
  • Grill: A cooking appliance used for grilling or barbecuing food.
  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for baking and roasting food.
  • Stove: A cooking appliance used for heating and cooking food.
  • Wok: A versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel used in various Chinese cooking techniques.

Storing and Freezing Saigon Noodle Salad

  • To store leftover Saigon noodle salad, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. The vegetables may lose some of their crispness over time, but the flavors will continue to meld together.
  • If you want to prepare the salad in advance, it's best to store the dressing separately from the noodles and vegetables. Combine them just before serving to prevent the noodles from absorbing too much liquid and becoming soggy.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the rice noodles and shrimp separately. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, rinse them under cold water, and drain well. Place them in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag, and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • To freeze the shrimp, cook them as directed in the recipe, then allow them to cool completely. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the shrimp to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • When you're ready to enjoy the frozen Saigon noodle salad, thaw the rice noodles and shrimp in the refrigerator overnight. Prepare the vegetables and dressing as directed in the recipe, then combine all the ingredients and serve.

How To Reheat Leftover Saigon Noodle Salad

  • Reheat the leftover saigon noodle salad in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until the shrimp is heated through and the noodles are warm. Be careful not to overheat, as the vegetables may become soggy.
  • For a fresher taste, separate the noodles, vegetables, and shrimp before reheating. Microwave the noodles and shrimp for 1 minute, then add the vegetables and microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
  • If you prefer a cold salad, simply remove the saigon noodle salad from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and the vegetables to regain their crunch.
  • For a quick and easy stir-fry, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the leftover saigon noodle salad and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the noodles and vegetables are heated through and slightly crispy.
  • To maintain the texture of the peanuts, store them separately from the salad and add them just before serving. This prevents them from becoming soggy during storage and reheating.

Interesting Trivia About Saigon Noodle Salad

The Saigon Noodle Salad recipe is a delicious and healthy dish that combines the flavors of fresh herbs, crunchy vegetables, and succulent shrimp. This dish is a great source of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. It's a perfect meal for those looking to enjoy a light and refreshing option, especially during the warmer months. The combination of the zesty dressing and the vibrant mix of ingredients makes this salad a delightful and satisfying choice for any occasion.

Is Making Saigon Noodle Salad at Home Cost-Effective?

This saigon noodle salad recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as rice noodles, shrimp, and vegetables, are generally affordable and widely available. The use of fresh herbs and simple pantry staples adds flavor without breaking the bank. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20. Overall, I would rate this recipe an 8 for its affordability and delicious flavors.

Is Saigon Noodle Salad Healthy or Unhealthy?

The Saigon noodle salad recipe is a healthy and refreshing dish that offers a balance of nutrients. Here's why:

  • The salad is packed with fresh vegetables like napa cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, and cucumber, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber
  • Shrimp is a lean protein source, low in calories and high in beneficial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids
  • Rice noodles are gluten-free and offer a good source of carbohydrates for energy
  • The dressing is made with wholesome ingredients like lime juice, fish sauce, and ginger, adding flavor without relying on excessive oil or processed ingredients
  • Fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, and basil add vibrant flavors and offer additional antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Peanuts provide a source of healthy fats and plant-based protein

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Use a low-sodium fish sauce or reduce the amount used to control sodium intake
  • Opt for brown rice noodles instead of white rice noodles for added fiber and nutrients
  • Increase the portion of vegetables to boost the overall nutrient density of the dish
  • Grill or steam the shrimp instead of frying to reduce added oils
  • Use a sugar substitute like honey or coconut sugar in the dressing to minimize refined sugar content
  • Add additional protein sources like tofu, edamame, or chicken for a more substantial meal
  • Serve the dressing on the side to allow individuals to control the amount used

Editor's Thoughts on Saigon Noodle Salad

This Saigon noodle salad recipe is a delightful combination of fresh and vibrant flavors. The dressing provides a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and spicy notes, enhancing the overall taste of the dish. The use of rice noodles and an assortment of vegetables adds a satisfying texture, while the shrimp brings a delightful seafood element. The addition of peanuts provides a lovely crunch and nuttiness. Overall, this recipe is a wonderful representation of Vietnamese cuisine, and it's a great choice for a light and refreshing meal.

Enhance Your Saigon Noodle Salad Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken: Marinate the chicken in lemongrass, garlic, and fish sauce for an authentic Vietnamese flavor.
Mango Sticky Rice: Create a sweet and creamy dessert with sticky rice, coconut milk, and ripe mango slices.
Tom Yum Soup: Prepare a spicy and sour soup with shrimp, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves for a refreshing starter.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Saigon Noodle Salad

Vietnamese Pho: This traditional Vietnamese soup is made with beef or chicken, rice noodles, and a flavorful broth simmered with aromatic spices and herbs.
Thai Green Curry: A creamy and spicy Thai curry made with coconut milk, green curry paste, and a variety of vegetables and protein such as chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
Mango Sticky Rice: A popular Thai dessert made with sweet sticky rice, ripe mango slices, and a drizzle of coconut milk for a refreshing and indulgent treat.
Korean Bibimbap: A Korean mixed rice dish topped with an assortment of sautéed vegetables, gochujang sauce, and a fried egg for a satisfying and flavorful meal.
Greek Salad: A refreshing and vibrant salad made with crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and a zesty vinaigrette dressing for a taste of the Mediterranean.

Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Saigon Noodle Salad

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your taste buds with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a rich and flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs.
Caprese Skewers: Indulge in the perfect combination of fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and fragrant basil, all drizzled with a balsamic glaze for a burst of flavor in every bite.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and intense chocolate flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Berry Parfait: Layered with creamy yogurt, fresh berries, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a delightful combination of sweet and tangy flavors. The vibrant colors and refreshing taste make it a perfect dessert for any occasion.

Why trust this Saigon Noodle Salad Recipe:

This Saigon noodle salad recipe is a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, featuring fresh shrimp, crisp cabbage, and vibrant carrots. The zesty dressing, made with lime juice and fish sauce, adds a burst of tangy goodness. With aromatic mint, cilantro, and basil, this dish promises a symphony of fresh herbs. The inclusion of peanuts provides a satisfying crunch. Trust in this recipe for a harmonious blend of Vietnamese flavors that will surely tantalize your taste buds.

Want to share your own Saigon Noodle Salad creation or discuss the nuances of this vibrant Vietnamese dish? Join the conversation in the World Cuisines forum and let's explore the flavors together!
FAQ:
What type of noodles can I use for this salad?
You can use rice noodles, also known as rice vermicelli, for this salad. They are thin, delicate noodles that work well with the other ingredients and the dressing.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the salad ahead of time, but I recommend adding the dressing and peanuts just before serving to keep the noodles and vegetables fresh and crunchy.
Can I substitute the shrimp with another protein?
Absolutely! You can substitute the shrimp with grilled chicken, tofu, or even thinly sliced beef. Adjust the cooking time and seasoning accordingly.
Is there a way to make this salad vegetarian?
Yes, you can easily make this salad vegetarian by omitting the shrimp and using a vegetarian alternative for the fish sauce, such as soy sauce or a vegan fish sauce substitute.
Can I adjust the spiciness of the dressing?
Of course! If you prefer a milder dressing, you can reduce the amount of sriracha chile sauce or omit it altogether. Conversely, if you like it spicier, you can add more sriracha to suit your taste.

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