In this vegan rice noodle salad, strips of beefy-style plant protein (or seitan), cucumbers, cilantro, and an optional hint of mint come together in a Thai-inspired cold dish that’s both hearty and refreshing.
Don’t be daunted by the length of the ingredient list — this is an easy cold dish to literally toss together. This is a fantastic buffet dish that can stand for a few hours at room temperature (if it isn’t immediately devoured!); double the recipe for an impressive dish to share at potlucks.
Do to use the optional mint — it adds a distinctive flavor that pulls the other ingredients together. Fine Asian rice noodles have a lovely light mouth feel, but you can always substitute angel hair pasta if unavailable.
Vegan steak-style protein options
Look for steak-style plant protein in your natural foods store or online. I like the Viana brand; this Complete Guide to Vegan Steak gives you some other options.
Of course, seitan works well too. Use packaged seitan or try this site’s easy homemade seitan recipe. See also our Guide to Seitan featuring lots more hearty seitan recipes.
Excerpted from Plant-Powered Protein: 125 Recipes for Using Today’s Amazing Meat Alternatives by Nava Atlas, © 2020. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, to taste
- Juice of 1 lime, or more, to taste
- 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
- 2 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh or squeeze-tube ginger
- 1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon natural granulated sugar
- 4- to 6-ounce bundle fine or wide rice noodles
- 6 to 8 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- Mint leaves from several sprigs, optional
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil or dark sesame oil
- 8 to 10 ounces steak-style plant protein or seitan, cut into thin strips
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Chopped peanuts or sesame seeds for garnish, optional
- Combine the ingredients for the chili-lime dressing in a small bowl. Stir together and set aside.
- Combine the cucumber, vinegar, and sugar in a small container and toss together. Set aside.
- Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. When done, drain and rinse under cold running water until fairly cool. Drain well again, and transfer to a serving bowl. Cut the noodles here and there with kitchen shears, since they’re very long.
- Add the radishes, scallions, and cilantro to the bowl along with the cucumbers, liquid and all, as well as the chili-lime dressing. Toss together.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the plant protein and sauté over medium-high heat, stirring often, until golden and crisp on most sides. Stir into the noodle mixture while still hot. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Garnish individual servings with chopped peanuts or sesame seeds if desired.
Heres' this site's Easy Homemade Seitan recipe.
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