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Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Rice noodles, crunchy salad, fresh herbs and chilli tossed together with a tangy dressing and topped with crispy on the outside, pillowy soft on the inside tofu pieces, make this Vietnamese noodle salad a light, fresh meal perfect for lunch or dinner.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Author Sally

Ingredients

Crispy Tofu

  • 300 grams firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour

Noodle Salad

  • 400 grams vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 cucumber, seeds removed and julienned
  • 1-2 carrots, julienned
  • ¼ head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh herbs (mint and/or coriander)
  • ½ cup peanuts, lightly crushed
  • fresh chilli (optional)

Dressing (Nuoc Cham)

  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, approx. 2 limes
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 birdseye chilli, finely diced

Instructions

  • Prepare the tofu. Press tofu by placing two paper towels on a chopping board, followed by the tofu, then another two paper towels and placing a heavy based saucepan or skillet on top. Let the tofu press to remove excess moisture for 10-30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C and line a large tray with baking paper. Chop the tofu into squares and place in a bowl with the oil, soy sauce and cornflour and toss until the tofu is completely coated. Place the tofu on the tray and bake for 30 minutes, turning the tofu halfway through, until completely golden in colour.
  • While the tofu is cooking, boil a large pot of water. Add vermicelli noodles and cook for 3-5 minutes. Drain and plunge noodles into cold water to stop the cooking. Keep noodles covered in water to prevent sticking and set aside until ready to serve.
  • Add all dressing ingredients to a jar and shake to combine.
  • Assemble the noodles salad by adding some of the drained vermicelli noodles to a serving bowl and topping with cucumber, carrot, lettuce, fresh herbs, crushed peanuts, and fresh chilli if desired. Drizzle generously with the dressing and add crispy tofu on top.

Notes

Vegan/Vegetarian Option: Make sure to use vegetarian/vegan fish sauce instead of regular.
 
Gluten Free Option: Use gluten free tamari sauce in place of soy sauce for the tofu.
 
If you want to make this ahead, keep all ingredients separated in the fridge and assemble before serving. For meal prep you can make your bowls keeping the sauce in a separate container, however you noodles will get a bit sticky.
 
Crispy tofu technique inspired by Cookie & Kate