With fresh ingredients, crunchy textures and bright flavours – there’s so much to love in this Vietnamese Chicken & Rice Noodle Salad! Made up of fresh herbs, crunchy veggies, shredded chicken, rice noodles and a sprinkling of salted peanuts, this salad comes together in no time with little prep. The real star of the show here is the simple, nuoc cham inspired dressing that really ties everything together with it’s sweet, salty, spicy and tangy boost of flavour. | Gluten Free + Dairy Free
Originally posted 22 July 2015 – Updated with improved photos, recipe and instructions 3 February 2021
Chicken & Rice Noodle Salad Steps
- Make the dressing: Simply whisk all dressing ingredients together and set aside until needed.
- Prep the protein & veggies: Deseed and peel the cucumber, grate or slice the carrots and chop the herbs. Shred or chop your chicken breasts and chop the peanuts.
- Boil the rice noodles: Cover the noodles in boiling water for about 3 minutes until softened then rinse with cold water the wash away excess starch OR follow the directions listed on your package of noodles.
- Toss & enjoy: Once everything is prepped and ready to go, simply toss everything together in a big salad bowl making sure that the dressing has been evenly mixed and that’s it! Serve and enjoy.
Quick Questions & Tips
What type of rice noodles should I use?
- Ultimately, it’s up to you! I used brown rice vermicelli noodles. Vermicelli noodles are basically just very fine rice noodles and they’re recommended for this rice noodle salad.
- You can also use thicker, rice stick noodles or even soba noodles if you’d like. Just make sure that if you decide to use soba noodles you double check that they are fully gluten free.
- Keep in mind different types of noodles require different types of cooking methods and times. I include instructions on how to prep your noodles based on most standard rice noodles, but it’s best to follow the instructions on the packaging of your personal noodles.
Why deseed the cucumber?
- Cucumber seeds contain an excessive amount of water. If you keep the centres and seeds of the cucumber in tact as your peel the cucumber into ribbons you’ll end up adding a LOT of extra moisture to the salad making it watery.
- If you don’t want to worry about scooping out the seeds you can always use seedless cucumbers if you can find them easily. That being said, scooping out the seeds takes no time at all!
What type of chili should I use?
- I used bird’s eye chili, commonly used in Asian cuisines. They’re small, red and pack in a decent amount of heat for their size. If you’re not too crazy about spice, you can always use a more mild chili like an jalapeno or Anaheim chili.
Leftovers and Storeage
This recipe makes enough to serve two as a full meal – while feeling light and fresh it’s still quite filling even all on its own. If you’d prefer to stretch it out further you can also serve this as a side to a large meal.
While the recipe is Vietnamese inspired, the flavours here lend themselves to a variety of Asian inspired dishes. Here are a few recipes to get you going:
- Vietnamese Chicken Roast
- Vietnamese Chicken Salad
- Ping Gai Chicken Thighs
- Thai Meatball and Egg Drop Soup
- Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Honey Sriracha Wings
- Honey Sriracha Turkey Meatballs
Nuoc Cham Dressing
- 1 tablespoon | 15 ml lime juice
- 2 tablespoons |28 g light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons | 30 ml fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons | 30 ml rice vinegar
- 1 red birds eye chili, deseeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded or diced
- 4 ounces thin rice noodles
- 1/2 large cucumber
- 1 large carrot, thinly sliced or grated
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, sliced
- 1/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped
- Start by mixing all of the nuoc cham dressing ingredients together in a small cup or bowl until combined. Set aside.
- Place the rice noodles in a large pot and cover with boiling water. Let the noodles sit in the hot water three minutes, then drain and rinse the noodles with cold water. If you don't own a tea kettle, add 3-4 cups water to your pot and bring to a boil on the stove top first before adding the noodles.
- Once cooked and rinsed, add the noodles to a large salad bowl and set aside as you prep the remaining ingredients.
- Take the cucumber and cut in in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds in the middle, then use a vegetable peeler to peel the cucumber in to ribbons. Thinly slice or grate the carrot and slice the fresh herbs.
- Add the cucumber, carrot, herbs, shredded chicken and peanuts to the rice noodles. Pour the dressing over the top then toss well to mix the salad until everything is well covered in dressing.
- Add more peanuts and fresh herbs if desired and enjoy.
What type of chili should I use?
- I used bird's eye chili, commonly used in Asian cuisines. They're small, red and pack in a decent amount of heat for their size. If you're not too crazy about spice, you can always use a more mild chili like an jalapeno or Anaheim chili.
- If you don't have fresh chilies available you can use 1 teaspoon of chili sauce (like sriracha) or 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes.
Serving Size:g Calories: 339Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 849mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 26g
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- Raw Peanut Zoodle Salad (spiralized zucchini)
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