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Thai Noodle Salad

Recipe Info

Difficulty: Easy
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 8 min


For the Salad

  • ½ lb Bucatini or Pad Thai Noodles
  • ½ Medium Napa Cabbage
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • ½ Bunch Radish
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Bunch Mint
  • 2 Bunches Thai Basil
  • ½ Cup Roasted, Salted Peanuts
  • ½ Cup Rice Wine Vinegar

For the Dressing

  • 1 Tablespoon Sambolek or Garlic Chili Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Grated Ginger



  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Run under cold water to stop the cooking, drain and toss with a small amount of neutral oil. Set aside.
  2. Cut the radish and cucumber into very thin matchsticks. Pack into a bowl and cover with rice wine vinegar (if you like your veggies less sour you can just toss them in a few tablespoons of vinegar).
  3. Cut the red bell pepper into thin strips, then very finely slice the cabbage, set aside.
  4. Pick the mint and Thai basil off their stems.
  5. Chop or crush the peanuts.
  6. In a jar, warm the honey till it runs easily.
  7. Add in the chili paste, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and grated ginger. Shake till emulsified. Taste and adjust as needed, it should be a very strong flavor.
  8. In a large mixing bowl add the cabbage. Add in some of the red bell pepper, the pickling cucumber, and radish, and tear in some of the herbs. Add your pasta and desired amount of dressing. Mix well.
  9. Plate the salad and top with more herbs and veggies, and a generous amount of peanuts. Enjoy!

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Make It...

  1. Gluten Free:Just substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta or rice noodles!
  2. Vegan: Substitute the honey for 2 teaspoons sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons very hot water and leave out the fish sauce. You can add an extra splash of soy sauce if needed.
  3. Meal Prep: Follow these steps if you want to prep ahead of time:

    1. Complete this recipe through step 7.
    2. Store ingredients separately in the fridge.
    3. When you’re ready to make it combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl, shake up the dressing, and complete steps 8-9.

Savannah Says...

  1. How do you slice everything so thinly?

    1. Some say it's a gift, others say...

      A sharp knife or a mandolin is your best friend.

  2. Can this be done any faster?

    1. It will get faster when you stop being so slow :p

      You bet! You can just slice your cucumber & radish into thin rounds instead of matchsticks. You can also prep this ahead of time! See the “Meal Prep” section above.

  3. What proteins would go well with this?

    1. The usual suspects...

      I would highly recommend some crispy tofu, chicken or steak!

  4. How long will this salad keep?

    1. I doubt you will have leftovers, but...

      If stored properly (Don’t toss everything together!) this salad can keep in the fridge for up to five days depending on the freshness of your vegetables.

Ramblings of a Line Cook

I will straight-up tell you I have not yet been to Thailand and that this salad is a far cry from what one could consider authentic. I will tell you, however, that this salad serves a different purpose. Kissed with a few ingredients from that beautiful country, it brings a happy and familiar flavor to our palates, so numbed and confused by the fact that we can get a greasy, orange chicken at a “Thai” restaurant served on a bed of rice fried in butter, dotted with little peas and carrots straight from a freezer bag. The peas and carrots threatening to become one with the rice as they all sit for hours inside a steam table, waiting for your order.

No, this salad is fresh. It is crisp, it will only be yours if you commit to slicing up some truly fresh vegetables, to cooking the pasta properly and chilling it down, if you decide it’s worthwhile to pluck those fresh, green herbs from their stems and tear them with your hands to release those beautiful aromas.

This salad takes a bit of work to prep, but with a touch of chili, lime juice, fish sauce, and thai basil, it will reawaken your palate with a jolt and a smile. In true form, I couldn’t just eat a salad for dinner without adding some form of starch or gluten. The bucatini noodles you’ll find are so fun to bite down on, their hollow tubes sometimes surprising you with a bit of that spicy, vinegary dressing. This salad is truly a delight to eat.

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