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Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Dressing

Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Dressing by SeasonWithSpice.com

A bowl of lettuce with a sweet dressing isn’t going to cut it.  I need substance and flavor in my salads. Rice noodles, fresh vegetables, and crushed peanuts.  Lemongrass, chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and turmeric.  Cilantro, Thai basil, and spring onions.

cutting fresh ginger and garlic for southeast asian recipe

I want a salad to taste so good that I have to remind myself after each bite that it’s healthy too.  I want a Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Dressing!

Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Dressing by SeasonWithSpice.com

During the last two months, I have slowly built up my Asian kitchen in Minnesota with some of the essentials like light and dark soy sauces, rice vinegar, Chinese rice wine, fish sauce, and sesame oil. 

And with the hot summer, the garden has taken care of other required ingredients like ginger, lemongrass, Thai basil, cilantro, and many more spices & herbs.

thai basil and cilantro herbs growing in the garden



With my Asian kitchen almost complete, I have finally had the chance to get back to experimenting with flavors from home…and taking a much needed break from the hotdogs and hamburgers of a Minnesota summer.

My latest concoction – Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Dressing – may seem complicated with the long list of ingredients, but once everything is there in the kitchen, all it takes is some chopping, a bit of cooking, and then mixing it all together into a salad with a burst of Southeast Asian flavors.

Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Dressing by SeasonWithSpice.com

This Asian, summery salad isn’t a traditional dish – just a mix of my favorite ingredients.  So make it your own too.  Instead of tofu, try it with sautéed beef, chicken, or shrimp.  No shallots?  Use red onion.  No Thai chili peppers?  Try another spicy chili or add in some cayenne pepper.  I like how well the tender flat rice noodles absorb the flavors, but go ahead and substitute with soba noodles or thin rice vermicelli. 

And if you’re looking for a real kick, add a dab of homemade sambal to the sauce.

southeast asian spicy sauce for salad and marinate

Give this salad a try and find out the secret to Southeast Asian cooking – creating healthy dishes that taste so good!

Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Dressing by SeasonWithSpice.com

shop lemongrass powder, kaffir lime leaf powder, galangal powder available at season with spice shop

Rice Noodle Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Dressing 
by Season with Spice
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 block (about 12 oz) of extra firm tofu - cut into thin strips or 1/2 inch cubes, and patted dry
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 servings of flat rice stick noodles

Spicy Lemongrass Sauce:
3-4 cloves garlic - minced
1 inch fresh ginger - minced
2 lemongrass stalks – outer leaves removed and ends trimmed off, then remaining white part chopped finely
1-2 Thai bird’s eye chili peppers (or one serrano chili for a less spicy taste) – minced
1 tsp of Season with Spice's ground turmeric
5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp raw sugar (or brown sugar)
Fish sauce or kosher salt to taste
Generous dashes of ground white pepper

Garnishes:
- Fresh herbs such as cilantro, spring onion, and Thai basil
- Vegetables such as carrots and cucumbers (cut into matchsticks), bean sprouts, shallots/red onion, and watercress or sunflower sprouts. You can also add sweet corn kernels or thinly sliced sugar snap peas Рjust quickly saut̩ or blanch them before adding to salad.
- 2 tbsp crushed peanuts or toasted sesame seeds
- Homemade sambal (optional)

Method:
1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the spicy lemongrass sauce. Mix well.
2. Add two tablespoons of the prepared sauce to the tofu cubes and coat well. Let marinate for 10-15 minutes.
3. In a non-stick skillet or frying pan, add oil and the marinated tofu, and cook over medium heat. Cook one side of the tofu for 2-3 minutes, then turn them over and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the tofu is nicely browned.
4. Cook rice noodles according to the package instructions (generally about 5 minutes to cook in boiling water). Once cooked, drain and rinse noodles under cold running water.
5. Place noodles into each serving bowl. Drizzle with sesame oil and toss lightly. Arrange veggies and tofu around noodles, then drizzle with the spicy lemongrass dressing. Garnish with fresh herbs and crushed peanuts (or sesame seeds).

18 comments:

Rosa May said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
justonecookbook said...

This is my kind of dish!!! My shopping list for this seems like just tofu and lemongrass! Absolutely looking delicious. I love your knife skill - look at your minced ginger. ;-) (or am I checking too details? haha!).

mjskit @mjskitchen.com said...

I am craving this dish!!! Your spicy lemongrass sauce could easily become a condiment in my fridge! Oh my! It seems that once you get the sauce made, the rest of the dish is relatively easy. All those fresh condiments (Thai basil being my favorite!), really add some great textures and flavors. Wonderful dish!!!

BiteMyCake said...

it's nice to bring home cuisine with you, wherever you go :) i really enjoy all you recipes

Kankana said...

This is totally my kinda meal. Love the spices.. love the flavor of lemon grass and love noodle! Gonna make this, something this week.

JordanBourke said...

This looks really delicious, I make one similar, but the sauce is a little different. I really want to try it soon! I have a few recipes up on my blog I started recently, let me know what you think! http://www.theguiltfreegourmet.com/

Reese said...

Thanks MJ! Oh yes, the sauce is fairly versatile. I love using it as a base for my stir-fry dishes and flavorful salads.

Reese said...

Ha! I wish I can be more consistent. There are days I can get pretty fussy and make sure everything is cut/ chopped in precision. There are days I just don't bother.

bebetsy said...

Love your site - and the spice map is the coolest!! I so love all the spices and ingredients in this recipe-thanks for sharing.

Season with Spice said...

Thanks for your nice comment, Betsy!

Season with Spice said...

Thanks Jordan. What I like is both rice noodle salad & the lemongrass dressing have great flexibility. I can change up the ingredients for the noodle salad or use the dressing separately on other dishes. Also, many thanks for saying hi. I love what you share on Guilt Free Gourmet. All the recipes look incredibly healthy and delicious!

Season with Spice said...

I do miss the flavors of home, Tamara.

Monica Shaw said...

Made this tonight and it was super duper. I made mine with carrots, bean sprouts and shredded lettuce. I added quite a bit of lime juice and LOADS of basil, plus toasted sesame seeds and almonds. Really fantastic and I'm glad I have leftover dressing (it's such a great tofu marinade!). My picture doesn't hold a candle to yours but here you go: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spacekadet/8522510762/

Season with Spice said...

Hi Monica - so glad to hear that you enjoyed the noodle dish! Loads of basil is the way to go! We can't wait to start growing the herbs again when spring comes...

SeasonWithSpice said...

This was delicious. I made it with glass noodles, tofu, coriander and carrots. This sauce could also be delicious in so many different ways.

SeasonWithSpice said...

Thank you Natasha!

SeasonWithSpice said...

I shared my photos from when I made this on my blog. The tofu was so delicious with this dressing. http://www.bambooblossom.co.za/2013/11/glass-noodle-salad-with-spicy.html

SeasonWithSpice said...

Reese, can you used those lemongrass paste on the tube? I know nothing beats the fresh lemongrass but maybe a good substitute. My mouth is watering.

xo

Sam

http://fabulouspetite.blogspot.com

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