Rice Noodle Salad with Broccoli Rabe
This fresh, herbal salad brings together a lot of bold flavors. The salty, sweet, and tangy dressing marries wonderfully with the smooth noodles and crunchy vegetables. You can use your favorite thin rice noodle—they range from the thickness of spaghetti to linguine. The more exotic ingredients such as fish sauce or dried shrimp can be found at any Asian grocery store. Serve this salad as an appetizer, side dish, or add a protein to turn it into a main meal.
Recipe by Summer Min
Summer is the recipe developing and food blogging voice of O&O Eats. Her recipes span a wide range of cuisines and flavors, borrowing from the regions she’s called home and her family’s heritage. She was recently honored as a finalist in the “Best New Voice” category at Saveur’s 2015 Food Blog Awards.
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 & 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 & 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped lemongrass
- 1 Thai chili, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp peanut oil
- 2 Tbsp dried shrimp, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 8 oz thin rice noodles
- 8 oz broccoli rabe, ends removed and roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, julienned
- 2 Tbsp mint, roughly torn
- 2 Tbsp Thai basil, roughly torn
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1. Make the dressing by combining coconut milk, water, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, lemongrass, and Thai chili. Whisk well until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside while you make the salad.
2. Place oil in a small pan over medium heat. Once hot, add dried shrimp and garlic. Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant but before the garlic starts browning. Transfer to a small heatproof bowl and set aside
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rice noodles and cook according to package instructions (usually 4-8 minutes depending on thickness), taking special care not to let the noodles overcook as they’ll go from done to mushy very quickly. In the last minute of cooking, add broccoli rabe.
4. When done, turn the heat off and immediately drain the noodles and broccoli rabe in a colander. Rinse thoroughly under cold water to prevent further cooking and remove any excess starch.
5. Place rice noodles, broccoli rabe, carrots, mint, basil, cilantro, and scallions in a large serving bowl or platter (reserving a small amount of mint and basil for garnish, if you wish). Add the shrimp/garlic oil and toss to coat.
6. When you are ready to serve, drizzle the dressing over the salad and give it a light toss. Top with peanuts and reserved herbs, and enjoy immediately.
To prevent the noodles from getting soggy if not eating immediately, you can serve the salad undressed, letting your dining companions add their own dressing in the amount they desire.
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