Sweet, tangy and fresh – and only 10 mins to prepare this no-cook dish – try our crispy Asian noodle salad at your next BBQ or picnic gathering.
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To make the dressing, whisk the lime juice, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Add the sesame seeds.
Combine the wombok, snow peas, carrot, spring onion, beansprouts, chilli, half the coriander, half the mint and half the cashews in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Add the noodles and toss to combine.
Transfer salad to a large serving platter. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander, mint and cashews and extra chilli.
Sweet and juicy wombok makes the perfect pairing for crunchy fried noodles in this classic Aussie favourite. This salad with crispy noodles is the dish everyone piles onto their plate at a gathering, picnic or barbecue. And it’s a favourite for a reason – it’s fresh and light, and has that tantalising combo of sweet and sour in the delicious sesame and lime dressing. Most importantly, the wombok, noodles and nuts give it three different kinds of crunch. The beauty of this recipe is that many other veggies work well in it, too.
Here are some top tips for making this salad:
For the noodles, grab any pre-fried crunchy noodles you can find at the supermarket. If you can’t find any, break up some instant noodles on a baking tray, spray them with oil and bake at 180°C for 10 minutes. Toss halfway through. They are ready if you can easily break them apart into even smaller pieces.
For the veggies, pick a firm and heavy wombok with minimal blemishes. If you’re not using wombok, choose veggies that you can slice thinly and that have a good crunch factor to them, like carrots, capsicum, bok choy or other kinds of cabbage.
You can swap the cashews in your salad with slivered almonds, peanuts, pine nuts or sunflower seeds if you prefer. Remember to toast the nuts or seeds in a pan over low heat, stirring, until just lightly browned. Nuts that are fully browned are over-toasted and can carry an unpleasant bitter taste.
Balance the sweet flavours of this salad with fresh and peppery thinly sliced spring onions.
The crispy noodle salad dressing has a distinct sweet soy, sesame and tangy flavour. To make the salad as close to the original as possible, you need to include soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and something to add a zingy lift. You can use lime juice, rice wine, white wine or apple cider vinegar for this tangy component.
This salad is a great side to go with grilled, roasted or barbecued meats, chicken or seafood. If you’re vegetarian, pair it with a main dish like a zucchini slice. To make it ahead for a potluck, picnic or barbecue, you can put all the salad ingredients together, except the noodles and dressing. Toss in the noodles and dressing just before serving to ensure your salad is nice and crunchy. If you have any leftover salad that has already been dressed, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days, but bear in mind the noodles will no longer be crunchy.
This satisfyingly crunchy salad is fresh and easy to eat, while packing a flavour bomb from the delicious sesame lime dressing. For other fresh side salad ideas, check out these recipes for Curtis Stone's avocado and shaved brussels sprouts salad, cabbage, apple and poppy seed salad and pear and kale coleslaw with miso dressing.