This Cold Thai Noodle Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing recipe is both creamy and crunchy. It is light, refreshing, and infused with fragrant Thai flavors. It is naturally gluten-free, vegan-adaptable, and ready to eat in just 10 minutes! Learn how to make homemade Thai noodle salad with this fast and simple recipe.
This quick cold noodle salad is made with tender rice noodles, crunchy shredded cabbage and carrots, roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro, tossed in a creamy coconut milk-based dressing. It makes a perfect meal for warm weather, so it is a great dish for spring and summer potlucks and gatherings. This Thai salad is also an ideal recipe for unexpected guests, because you can throw this salad together at a moment’s notice!
Cold Thai Noodle Salad Ingredients
Before we get to the recipe, let’s discuss ingredients. To make Cold Thai Noodle Salad, you will need:
- Rice Noodles: I use thin rice noodles when making this salad recipe. I love them because they are naturally gluten-free and only take a few minutes to cook.
- Coleslaw Mix: Using prepared coleslaw mix cuts down the amount of prep time in this recipe and gives the salad a good amount of crunch.
- Coconut milk: It serves as the creamy base for the salad dressing. I usually use full-fat coconut milk, but you’re welcome to use low-fat if you prefer.
- Ginger: This is a must in Thai cooking. Always use freshly grated ginger for the best flavor.
- Fish sauce: A little splash adds savory umami flavor to the dish. If you’ve never cooked with it before, it does have a slightly pungent aroma, but the smell disappears once it is in the dressing. If you really don’t want to use it though, you can use soy sauce or tamari instead.
- Brown sugar: A tiny bit of sweetness is used to balance out all the other flavors in this recipe.
- Sesame Oil: A splash of this toasted Asian finishing oil adds a ton of flavor to the coconut-lime dressing.
- Lime juice: A good squeeze of citrus balances and brightens all the flavors in the dressing.
- Chopped fresh cilantro: This gives a huge burst of freshness and also add a nice bright pop of color.
- Peanuts: I also like to sprinkle some chopped peanuts on top, because they add a bit of crunch. If you don’t have any on hand, any other kind of nuts can be used instead.
Why You Should Always Keep Coleslaw Mix on Hand
This recipe is made using prepared coleslaw mix, which cuts down on prep time. If you’re a fan of fresh salads that can be tossed together in a flash, you should always keep your fridge stocked with ready-to-eat coleslaw mix.
It is sold at most supermarkets and is high in fiber and vitamin C. In addition, the delicate cut of the cabbage makes it an excellent choice for soaking up the flavor of the dressing.
Tips for Making Thai Rice Noodle Salad
Here are a few tips that will ensure this recipe comes out perfect every single time:
- Be careful not to let the rice noodles cook longer than a few minutes, because they will get mushy if they overcook.
- Once the noodles are done cooking, rinse them immediately with cold water to stop the cooking process. Then you can cut them with scissors or break them up with your fingers, to make the salad easier to toss.
- If you are vegetarian or vegan, use soy sauce instead of the fish sauce. Other fresh herbs, such as basil, mint or parsley may be substituted for cilantro.
More Quick Salad Recipes to Try
Looking for more salad inspiration? Here are some of my favorites on the blog:
- Easy Tuna Bean Salad
- Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
- Creamy Potato Salad with Dill
- Avocado Spinach Salad
- Chicken Tomato Avocado Salad
For this Cold Thai Noodle Salad recipe, I recommend:
Here are a few items that I love using whenever I make this recipe:
- Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk – I love the taste and consistency of this brand. It adds so much body and richness to Thai dishes.
- Citrus Juicer – If you cook with a lot of citrus, a sturdy juicer is a must. This one works for both lemons and limes and will squeeze out every last drop of juice like a pro. Worth every penny.
- Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set (3-Piece) – This set is perfect for mixing up and serving salads. I love these bowls because they are super affordable and the quality is excellent.
If you make this Thai Noodle Salad recipe, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating ★ below, because I love hearing from you! ♡
Cold Thai Noodle Salad (Easy 10-Minute Recipe)
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
- 8 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
- 1 (14-ounce) package shredded coleslaw mix
- 1 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil, and ginger. Set aside.
- Place the rice noodles into a large pot of boiling water, cover and turn off the heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then drain and rinse the noodles with cold water.
- Add the cooked noodles, coleslaw mix, peanuts, and cilantro to the bowl with the coconut-lime dressing. Toss to combine and serve immediately.
- To make this recipe vegan, substitute the fish sauce with organic tamari (gluten-free soy sauce).
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.
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