This salad has plenty of fresh veggies and cold soba noodles all dressed in a Thai flavoured dressing. Rainbow Thai noodle salad is a light and delicious plant based dish that works well as both a salad side and a light and healthy meal.
It's my favourite time of year - summer! And the best thing about summer (besides all the great weather and being outdoors more) is probably all the fresh and flavourful salads like this rainbow Thai vegetable salad.
Along with summertime classics like bean salad and tuna macaroni salad, soba noodle salads are some of my favourite warm weather salads. I love that they can be made ahead of time making them great sides to bring to potlucks and BBQ's and they are great salads to keep in the fridge for easy meals throughout the week.
Rainbow Thai vegetable salad is my new favourite right now. It's loaded with fresh, healthy vegetables, it has a light and flavourful dairy-free Thai dressing and it's a perfect veggie-centric light meal or easy side dish.
How to make rainbow Thai noodle salad
There's a bit of chopping to be done to get this salad made but outside of that, making this soba noodle salad is a breeze.
Start by boiling a big pot of water to cook the soba noodles and then cook them according to the package directions - for me this was 8 minutes.
While the noodles are cooking you can prepare the vegetables. Chop the cabbage, carrots and red pepper into thin noodle-like strips.
Slice the green onions and chop the cilantro and peanuts.
When the soba noodles have finished cooking, drain them into a colander and rinse with cold running water until the noodles have cooled. The rinsing all removes any excess starch that may be on the noodles and keeps them from sticking so don't skip this part.
Mix together the fish sauce, lime juice, seasoned rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, tamari and honey to make the dressing. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, just swap out the fish sauce for vegetarian fish sauce - you can find this in Asian speciality stores or you can make your own.
Add the cooled noodles and all the veggies to a large bowl then mix everything well so that the veggies blend in with the noodles and don't just sit on top of them.
Toss in the chopped baby spinach then add the dressing and mix.
Tips and Tricks
- This salad can be made AND dressed ahead of time - just leave out the spinach until you are ready to serve as it will wilt if dressed too early
- swap out the fish sauce for vegetarian fish sauce to make this a vegetarian side
- Slicing the vegetables into thin strips really helps them to mix in with the soba noodles
Dietary Considerations and Accommodations
This Thai noodle salad recipe is suitable for the following diets:
- vegetarian - when using vegetarian fish sauce
- clean eating
- dairy free
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Rainbow Thai Noodle Salad
- 6 oz buckwheat soba noodles
- 1 red pepper seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 2 green onion sliced
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 2 cups baby spinach sliced
- 1⁄4 bunch cilantro chopped
- 1⁄2 cup peanuts chopped
- Cook the soba noodles according to package directions then drain and cool under cold running water. Let the noodles sit in the colander to drain.
- Prepare the red pepper, cabbage, carrot, green onions, spinach, cilantro and peanuts while the noodles cool and drain.
- Mix together the fish sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, tamari and honey to make the dressing.
- Add the noodles and vegetables to a large bowl and toss gently to mix them together.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, then toss to coat everything.
- Top the salad with the chopped peanuts and some extra chopped cilantro for garnish.