2 things that are underappreciated. First, the EASE of this MEAL PREP recipe; seriously can’t go wrong with a crunchy spicy (yet cold) Rice Noodle Salad. It’s been 3 years since I have shared this thai salad recipe. That long, really? Gah, this is a fav SO we updated the photos and recipe for ya!
Secondly, leftovers. Yes the deliciousness of these leftovers for weekday lunch plans makes me happy. There’s something about cold noodles that just makes me happy. Maybe it’s because I used to eat them before 6am volleyball practice during my high school years. Shh… don’t tell my mom, but that was me who always snagged the last bit of leftovers before the rest of my family did. Hey, can you blame me? I grew up with three older brothers, if you didn’t grab food when you could, you wouldn’t get any, especially NOODLES!
But I digress…
You see, nowadays, things have changed. 10 years of eating gluten free! That means rice noodles, veggie noodles, and chickpea pasta are usually our go to for pasta dishes. Be that it is also end of summer, a cold rice noodle chopped salad with extra thai flavors and spices has become a staple!
Yes, this salad is a must for those hot days! Especially when you’re training, extra active, or just always on the go! You (we) need those good nutrients and carbohydrates to refuel!
But let me explain something else here. Another reason why we love COLD rice noodle salad:
Can you guess it? Yep –> it’s a resistant starch.
Wait, hold up. I think I should probably go over this RS (resistant starch) thing again. What is it, why do we like eating it?
LET THE NERDY NUTRITION TALK BEGIN!
To sum it up:
Resistant starch is “the sum of starch and products of starch degradation not absorbed in the small intestine of healthy individuals.” Instead of being cleaved in twain by our enzymes and absorbed as glucose, resistant starch (RS) travels untouched through the small intestine into the colon, where colonic gut flora metabolize it into short chain fatty acids. Thus, it’s resistant to digestion by the host. Definition Source via Mark’s Daily Apple
Sounds like a bad thing, right? Actually it’s not. It’s VERY GOOD thing!
Resistant starch can actually HELP improve digestion! How? This type of starch provides more bacteria in the gut because it is resistant to breaking down into sugar/glucose. And new research has discovered that if you cook your rice or rice pasta in 1 teaspoon of coconut oil first, it actually increases the RS (resistant starch). So we did just that, a little experimenting with the cooling times too.
We let the pasta sit overnight, which really helped with the soaking up the spices and flavor. Plus cooling it for 12 hours is the so called “peak time” for resistant starch.
“ Cooling for 12 hours will lead to formation of hydrogen bonds between the amylose molecules outside the rice grains which also turns it into a resistant starch.“
Once the rice noodle salad was cooled, we mixed it up two ways. One with crunchy chopped salad and cabbage, sliced thai peppers, thai chili sauce, and crushed nuts to keep it meatless and vegan.
The other way I made this salad was by slightly sauteeing the chopped cabbage with sesame oil and a little bit of sweet asian chili sauce. Then I topped each noodle bowl with beef (for that extra protein and iron). It was a little less crunchy but also a little more fragrant!
Both nutritious and delicious! The vegetarian option is perfect for that pre workout fuel! Haha carb load. Or wait till after your workout and eat the BEEFY salad for a healthy recovery meal!
See, solving all your “what to eat when” problems here.Print
Spicy Thai Rice Noodle Salad – Gluten Free
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
Spicy Thai Rice Noodle Salad – 2 Ways! This gluten free rice noodle salad is a healthy addition to any meal or you can make it a main meal by adding protein. Vegan option!
- 8 ounces rice noodles
- 2 to 3 teaspoons sesame oil, to taste
- 2 Tablespoons sweet chili pepper sauce
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups chopped cabbage or Asian salad mix (veggies only)
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup chopped green onion or chives
- 3 Tablespoons chopped roasted nuts
- Garnish – Lime juice, lime slices, cilantro, red pepper flakes
- Optional Topping – sliced grilled cooked protein of choice (see notes)
- Cook the rice noodles according to the instructions (about 8 minutes) then rinse in cold water.
- After the rice noodles are cooked, place them in a large bowl and add sesame oil, chili sauce, salt and pepper. Gently mix together and place in the fridge to cool. For the best flavor and resistant starch, let it sit for at least an hour.
- After the noodles are cooled, stir in the cabbage (leave the cabbage raw or lightly sauté or steam first, if desired) tamari, rice vinegar, garlic, green onion, and nuts.
- Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and cilantro on top. Top with red pepper flakes for extra spice and/or a cooked protein like steak strips, chicken, shrimp or tofu, if desired.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Nutrition below is for the Thai Rice Noodle Salad no meat added.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Category: salad
- Method: stove
- Cuisine: asian
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 296
- Sugar: 4.7 g
- Sodium: 776.9 mg
- Fat: 7.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 53.4 g
- Fiber: 3.5 g
- Protein: 3.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: salad, rice noodles, asian, thai, healthy, vegetarian
Let’s recap, eat cold noodles all the livelong day and your gut will be happy! Just kidding. But now you know the GUT HEALTH reasons on why you should keep a big batch of cold rice noodles (or any other resistant starch recipe) in your fridge this summer. Oh and why cold leftovers are a blessing. Just sayin..
Dear rice noodle salad, you just so darn tasty.
Who’s ready to start slurping?
What’s your favorite cold pasta salad dish or noodle salad recipe?
The food is delicious and unique, I like this dish, thanks to it I have added a new item to my cooking menu.
Woohoo! That is good to hear. Enjoy!
Such a perfect way to cool off this summer!
I love Thai flavors and this is such a great salad to get them in! And in such a light and fresh way!
Thai Salad Salad Thai dish you do very attractive. A vegetarian dish is quite attractive.
Lindsay | With Salt and Pepper
Oh my gosh, I’m so making this soon! I had something similar for lunch, and could honestly eat it everyday without tiring of it!
I fully appreciate this recipe! 🙂
and I appreciate you!
Sounds really good. Love spicy rice, thanks for posting.
Hi, Lindsey. I just discovered your website through Maggie at the Omnivore’s Cookbook. I’ve been browsing and will make this recipe first. I never thought of cold rice noodles before. My question is regarding resistant starch with which I am not very familiar. You mentioned that if you cook your rice or rice pasta in 1 tsp of coconut oil first the RS will increase. What exactly do you mean by cooking and for how long? Can I use any other oil such as olive? One more general question: I believe that I ate gluten contaminated food last night and am incredibly sick today. Do you have a tip for what to do when this happens? Is there anything I can ingest to help my gut get over this? Thanks for the great site!
Hi david! sorry about the gluten. I would try to eat lots of probiotic rich foods and limit grains for a few days. Load up on Vitamin C foods too. But keep things simple. Soups might be best.
As for the resistant starch, coconut oil is best due to it’s omega fatty acid chain. Just add in when you are cooking the rice. Or after once it’s cooked. either should work! Hope that helps.
Deanna @ The Live Fit Girls
OooOooOoo I just sent a few samples of some rice noodles! I think I am going to try this with them!! You made it look delicious!…plus I had no idea that having them cold actually makes it a resistant starch…another reason to love rice noodles (as if I need one!)
Gluten-free or not, I’m loving the noodles! I love that it’s spicy! 🙂 The color is very inviting! It looks really delicious! Appetizing! 🙂
i am totally going to have to make this for lunch soon! Just gotta get the ingredients! yum 🙂
BRING IT ON! This is sensational Lindsay! Check out those noodles – love the spice, love the colour, love the photos, love everything about this and sharing, especially to the gluten free community!
you bring your noodle dish and i’ll bring mine and we’ll have a noodle party!
This looks SO GOOD!!! I love a good ole fashioned tuna macaroni salad – haven’t made it in years, but there is something so good about cold pasta salads. this looks phenomenal!
oh i’ll come make it for you! p.s. how are you feeling?
Sonali- The Foodie Physician
Awesome info and awesome recipes! We love cold noodles and these look sooo good!
Ooo this looks yummy as a summer meal outside on the patio 🙂 I like cold noodles, too!
I’m glad you went over resistant starch again because I missed it previously and had no idea what it is or was, until now. Enlightening, thanks!
Emanuele @ guyslovecooking
I also have great memories of noodles, memories of which I am sure you would not be proud of..Instant noodles! When I was a student I think, at some point, I spent days, just having those. These days, when I wake up I look at myself in the mirror and I thank whoever is up there because I am still alive 🙂
What a great dish for a delight summer dinner! We don’t add too much carbs to our dinner, and always prefer some protein and veggies. This is a perfect combination of everything we love! Not so heavy, just the right amount of everything we love, healthy and super delicious!
we dont’ either, but we do use more carbs for after a long run/ride or workout. So these are awesome for lunch or post workout meal. Ya know? Love the cold noodles. haha. we’re weird.
This would be a totally different type of dish than I would normally make. This looks amazing.
think they’d go for it?
Dani @ DaniCaliforniaCooks
This combines almost all of my favorite flavors, and I know it’s something my boyfriend would love too. That’s a win/win!
oh yay! let me know if you try it Dani!
I want to SNATCH THAT BEEF off the top and bolt away! 😉
you so should, it’s fab!
Omg this looks amazing!!! Anything with noodles in it and I’m automatically in!
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
Yummy. I love rice noodles and spicy foods.
Michele @ paleorunningmomma
This looks absolutely incredible. You are just amazing!
Well I for one appreciate the veggie heavy option.
These pictures came out fantastic!!
Seriously, when are you just going to come and cook for me all the time!?!!
you are my food and stomach twin, so get thee here! haha
I am all over this! I love cold pad Thai salads in the summer and it has been on my list to make for a couple weeks now. I usually make a big batch to enjoy over a couple days and just haven’t found the time. Seriously why are there so many good eats and so little time?! Not to mention my long list of ideas to make for blog eats…. I was hoping to tackle it this year. Haha!
kristin | W [H] A T C H
i love me some rice noodles. i haven’t made cold noodles in a while, but with this heat nothing sounds better.
i know, right? COLD and REFRESHING
Laura @ This Runner's Recipes
Usually I prefer warm noodles/etc (probably because I’m constantly cold) but this recipe makes me want to give cold noodles a try! Especially because it has cabbage and grilled beef, which are two foods I’m really loving lately.
mine too! the best hearty combo but still feels light!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
I’ve been craving Asian food for dayssssss. You just sent me over the edge. I’m with you on the nostalgia of cold noodles. It’s up there with cold pizza.
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
I’m not a pasta or noodle person, but I think you’ve convinced me to eat them!
works just as good with cold rice, potatoes or beans (white). The RS that is. xxoo
Erin @ The Almond Eater
Cold noodles just scream SUMMER–this recipe looks so good woman!
trade you for some toast? AVO ME!
This looks fabulous!!! I’m drooling!
need a napkin? Just kidding. xxoo
Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food
Delicious dish + science stuff…it makes the bio nerd in me love everything about this post!
yay for nerds! let’s talk nerdy to each other. 😉
Jody - Fit at 57
I am not pasta fan but everything you make looks so good!!!! You are patient to wait that long to eat it! 🙂
haha i know, i wait a lot for food anyway with a hungry husband.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
This would be perfect…with chicken 😉
totally or even tempeh!
Erin @ Erin's Inside Job
You had me at spice!
Arman @ thebigmansworld
Need this so bad- ove cold noodles and 2 days? Winning!
noodle boy is a good title for you! jk
Shashi at RunninSrilankan
Dang lady – I never fail to learn something new when I come visit (your blog)! I don’t like most pasta, but, I do like rice “ramen” noodles – I had no clue eating them cold and throwing in some coconut oil, could be so good for me! I really need to try doing this, soon!
i can’t find rice ramen noodles, i will have to look for sure!
Leslee @ Her Happy Balance
My favorite cold pasta dish is my mom’s penne with vodka cream sauce. It’s not meant to be eaten cold, but it gets better the longer it sits and it’s perfect eaten with my fingers out of the leftover container 😉
oh my gosh, that sounds divine! can your mom come cook for me? LOL!
Cara's Healthy Cravings
My ideal meal, could eat this everyday and be very very happy 🙂
with shrimp on top!
Cara's Healthy Cravings
You know me well 😉
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Maybe that would explain why I love cold leftovers — I’m addicted to resistant starches 😉 In all seriousness, though, I prefer my rice, pasta, and potatoes to be cold, and I usually like them better the next day after they’ve had a chance to sit in the fridge for a while. I’m not sure that would explain my cold leftover pizza for breakfast habit, though…
oh yes, we are so alike! cold everything! haha well not coffee. i don’t like iced coffee. gasp!
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
I like cold noodles with veggies. This looks like a fantastic recipe!
That looks so good. Where does one find rice noodles?
i buy mine at whole foods or any asian section at the grocer! i have several brands if you need suggestions! xxoo
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf
I love cold noodles and don’t eat them nearly enough! This looks delicious.
This looks delicious Lindsay!
I don’t like pasta salad, so what we are going to do is call this leftovers or just cold noodles and go from there, k? Rice noodles are my noodles of choice, and you know I love anything Asian and spicy. I must make this!
Cold noodle salads are some of our favorite dinners on summer evenings. They’re healthy, filling, and full of flavor without weighing us down! I love that I can make them ahead, too. This version looks great! Yummed. 🙂
That looks so good and I never thought about eating Rice Noodles cold! I definitely need to get on that…..I still have a package in my pantry!
I was going to invite myself over so you can make this for me but I’ve been saying that a lot. So, I’m simply going to tell you how delicious the recipe looks and I’m pinning for menu planning 🙂