Rice noodles are a nice change of pace from regular pasta and are widely available in the Asian foods section of supermarkets. This simple dish of cold rice noodles is flavored with bottled or homemade sesame-ginger salad dressing and embellished with colorful vegetables.
For this recipe, make sure to use thin Asian rice noodles (also known as rice vermicelli or rice sticks), rather than the wider, flat rice noodles used for making Pad Thai.
Complete the meal: A perfect companion to this bountiful cold noodle dish is a simple tofu or tempeh preparation. Try Simple Stir-Fried Tofu with Sweet and Savory Flavors or Sweet and Savory Tempeh Strips.
Vegetable substitutes: Of course, you can add or substitute other vegetables as well. Some ideas: bok choy, cucumber, radish, carrot. All of these would be best raw and thinly sliced.
How to cook rice noodles
There are two main ways to cook rice noodles. One is to soak the bundles in cold water for 15 to 20 minutes, then separate the noodles and cut into manageable lengths.
The second way is to simply immerse the bundles in boiling water and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or just until done. Whichever method is used, these noodles cook quickly and should be tested frequently to avoid overcooking.
Either way, drain the noodles in a colander, then transfer to a cutting board and cut here and there to shorten them. Use right away in your recipes before they have a chance to clump together!
Bottom line — it’s best to follow package directions, as these can vary from one brand to another. See more in our Guide to Fine Asian Rice Noodles.
- 4 ounces thin rice noodles (rice vermicelli)
- ½ cup sesame-ginger dressing, bottled or homemade (see link in headnote, above), plus more, to taste
- 1 medium broccoli crown, cut into small florets
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 15-ounce can whole or cut baby corn, drained
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin rings
- Several sprigs’ worth of cilantro leaves
- 1 scallion, green part only, thinly sliced, optional
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds (white or black)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper or dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
- Cook the noodles according to package directions. Once done, drain and transfer to a cutting board and chop in several directions to shorten, then transfer to a serving bowl. Or, simply transfer to a serving bowl; reach, in and cut here and there with kitchen shears.
- Pour ½ cup of the sesame-ginger dressing in the serving bowl and toss with the noodles.
- Over medium heat, steam the broccoli in a small skillet with a little water to keep the pan moist for 2 minutes, covered, or just until it’s no longer raw and still bright green. Add the peas and continue to cook for a minute, uncovered. Drain in a colander and rinse with cool running water until no longer warm.
- Add the broccoli and peas to the noodles in the serving bowl along with the baby corn, bell pepper, cilantro, optional scallion, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. Toss together.
- Taste to see if you’d like to add any more dressing, or pass it around. Serve at room temperature.
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