Special Diet - Created Date : 14.9.2019
Vietnamese Noodle Salad (Prawn) with Spicy Peanut Dressing
This refreshing Vietnamese noodle salad is a sensation for the taste buds and perfect for a light evening meal or lunch with friends. This gluten free noodle salad is full of fresh vibrant ingredients topped off by a delicious spicy peanut dressing.
Our summer has been somewhat questionable here in NZ with a fair amount of rain and wind this year in not so sunny Auckland, but as we spent a good chunk of our winter in Vietnam I guess I can’t complain!
We spent two months in Vietnam last year and the food was amazing, often simple but the abundance of fresh herbs used such as Vietnamese mint, Thai basil and coriander really brought the food alive. Each meal is easily made adaptable to individual tastes by being able to serve yourself as much fresh herbs or chili as you like – or don’t like!
This Vietnamese Noodle Salad is inspired by the traditional Vietnamese Summer Rolls but is a deconstructed option that is easier to throw together – you still get the amazing flavour without having to do the time consuming rolling! And of course it’s gluten free and dairy free ??
Summer rolls were one my favourite go to staples on our trip and were always slightly different depending on what county of Vietnam you were visiting.
The great thing about Vietnamese food – including this noodle salad – is that it doesn’t leave you feeling stuffed! After eating a meal you feel satisfied and nicely refreshed.
Ordering food for our toddler in Vietnam could be a little challenging at times, but we were very lucky that he grew to absolutely love rice noodles! And why not?…… Noodles can be quite fun for a little guy!
He still can’t get enough of rice noodles, so when I made this noodle salad the other day he was happily stuffing his face with it.
Tips on how to make this Vietnamese Noodle Salad child friendly…..
When I make my toddlers salad portion I omit the fresh chilies and go a bit easier on the herbs. He only likes a small amount of fresh herbs, so I chop them up a little finer so they blend in a bit more with the noodles.
I will either make another peanut sauce for him without the spice (chilies ) or if that’s too much effort then he has the salad sans sauce but just with a splash of lime juice.
Additional Recipes Notes for Vietnamese Noodle Salad
I have used an organic whole peanut butter to make the spicy peanut dressing, this will give the sauce a darker colour than the standard peanut butter you can buy at the supermarket. In my opinion it tastes nice and gives the dressing a richer flavour but standard peanut butter will also work well.
I have also omitted Hoisin sauce, this sauce is traditionally in the peanut dipping sauces in Vietnam but it often contains sugar and additives so I have left it out, the dressing still tastes good!
Love Food Nourish Nutrition Tips
Coriander leaves or cilantro are a good source of Vitamin K which is important for healthy bones and blood clotting, coriander is also thought to help protect against some heavy metals such as mercury. Research has shown that coriander leaves (cilantro) contains an antibacterial compound called dodecenal which is thought to protect against food borne illness such as Salmonella.
Mint is calming and soothing to the digestive system, it also helps to stimulate bile flow which can help with the digestion of food, mint also has anti inflammatory properties.
Mango is a excellent source of vitamin A, the antioxidant that supports healthy eyesight, skin and a healthy immune system.
Chilies can help support a healthy metabolism, all that heat you taste requires energy production! Chilies can increase thermogenesis (heat production) in the body which can help with weight loss, clear congestion and support a healthy immune and circulatory system.
This recipe was inspired a) By our trip to Vietnam and b) by Steph in Thyme who has a vegetarian summer roll salad on her blog. Stephanies blog has lots of great gluten free vegetarian and vegan recipes.
If you are looking for other tasty asian inspired recipes you may like to try:
Prepare the vermicelli noodles as per the instructions on the packet, then rinse and drain the noodles.
Melt coconut oil in a skillet or fry pan, saute the crushed garlic on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat up high and then then add the prawns(shrimp) to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until the prawns are just cooked through. Remove and set aside.
Arrange the noodles, prawns and rest of the ingredients to make a salad or toss together in a bowl.
Spicy Peanut Dressing
Melt the coconut oil in a skillet or fry pan, saute the crushed garlic for 1-2 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients for the dressing, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens. This should take about 5 minutes. Add more water to make consistency thinner if desired.
To serve squeeze the juice of a lime wedge over each individual portion of salad, pour over the peanut dressing and top with the chopped peanuts. Add more fish sauce to taste if desired.
I used organic whole peanut butter which gives the spicy peanut dressing a darker colour than standard peanut butter.
Soy sauce can be used instead of tamari if you are not gluten free.
Hope is a New Zealand based Registered Naturopath who founded and was the principal Naturopath at Purely Health, a busy natural health clinic based in central Auckland for 5 years. Hope has worked in the natural health industry for 11 years. She has successfully worked with many clients who have experienced digestive disorders, hormone & auto immune disorders, food intolerances and food allergies. Hope created Love Food Nourish so she could share her love of cooking and nutrition and to provide inspiration for people looking for gluten free and allergy friendly recipes.
April 5, 2017 at 10:21 am
This recipe is right up my alley!! Sometimes the spring roll wrappers are just too much to deal with, I love that this is a more simple option when you're really craving them!
July 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm
Interesting to read about the nutritional benefits of coriander. Not sure why I was surprised since cilantro pretty much does the same thing. Love this tasty salad and that dressing is amazing!!
July 13, 2017 at 2:48 pm
Thanks so much Anya. Actually here in New Zealand we call cilantro coriander or coriander leaves so they are the same thing to us kiwis, but your comment has highlighted that I need to clarify that for U.S readers to avoid confusion, so thanks for pointing that out :)
Microwave cooking and nutrition
Are microwaves bad for your health? Almost every American house has a microwave. The convenience they offer is undeniable. However, despite the widespread use of microwave ovens and excellent safety recordings, some people suspect that cooking microwaved food makes it somewhat less healthy by removing foods from eating. Do you cook with microwave? Are microwave foods healthy?
How does microwave cooking work?
Understanding how microwave ovens work can help clarify the answers to these general questions. Microwave ovens cook food similar to radio waves but using shorter energy waves. These waves are highly selective, mainly affecting water and other electrically asymmetrical molecules - one end is positively charged and the other is negatively charged. Microwave ovens cause these molecules to vibrate and rapidly generate thermal (heat) energy.
Are microwaves safe to cook?
Some foods, when they are exposed to heat, from a microwave oven or a normal oven, are broken down. Vitamin C is perhaps the most clear example. However, since microwave cooking times are shorter, cooking with microwave does a better job of preserving vitamin C and other nutrients that are decomposed when heated.
When going to the vegetables, cooking in water takes some of the nutritional values ??because the nutrients flow into the cooking water. For example, boiled broccoli loses glycosinolate, a sulfur-containing compound that can give vegetables the ability to fight against cancer (and many find it distinctive and some find it disgusting). Steaming vegetables - even steaming microwave - is it better? In some ways, yes. For example, steamed broccoli holds more glucosinolate than boiled or fried broccoli.
Are microwaves bad for your health?
The method of cooking, which keeps the nutrients in the best way, is a method that quickly heats, warms food and uses as little liquid as possible. The microwave meets these criteria. Using the microwave with a small amount of water evaporates food from the inside out. It contains more vitamins and minerals than almost all other cooking methods and shows that microwave foods can be really healthy.
But let's not get lost in details. Vegetables are good for you in any way you prepare, and most of us don't eat enough. Is the microwave oven good or bad? Microwave is an engineering wonder, a miracle of convenience - and sometimes advantageous in feeding.
Learn more about safe microwave cooking. See. "Microwave food in plastic: Is it dangerous or not?"