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This vermicelli noodle salad is the perfect cold, refreshing meal for a hot summer day. Ready in 30 minutes, perfect for meal prep, and 100% plant-based!
Noodles are the one thing I constantly crave every single night. I won’t even be hungry but just the sound (or sight) of slurping makes me crave a bowl of noodles. (If you’re wondering where the sound of slurping is coming from at 11pm when I’m in bed, it’s most likely the TV where I watch probably-too-many Japanese dramas.) And yes, even in the heat of summer, I still crave bowls of soup noodles. Not because I enjoy melting while I eat, just because I love slurping noodles. But even I, soup noodle-lover that I am, don’t always want to be melting and sticking to my chair while I try to enjoy my meal. So I’ve had to succumb to the heat and start eating my noodles cold and virtually slurp-less. It’s not as fun as eating soup noodles, but it’s still pretty darn delicious.
What’s in it
This vermicelli noodle salad consists of 3 main components:
- a tender, chewy soy-lime marinated tofu
- a simple, refreshing salad base with vermicelli noodles
- a creamy, sweet & salty peanut dressing (my personal favorite)
This is a quick and simple marinated then pan-fried tofu. If you’re extra good at planning, you can marinate the tofu over night and the flavors will soak in even more. And if you’re not oil-free, I recommend pan frying the tofu in a little sesame oil to make it nice and crispy. Plus, the sesame oil adds a little nutty flavor that would complement this dish so well. Just saying.
To keep it simple, I just used 4 basic veggies in this salad. Lettuce because, duh, salad. Carrots and cucumbers to diversify the textures with some crunchiness. Green onions freshen up the flavors and add a nice little kick to the salad. Cilantro also adds a nice fresh flavor and makes the dish taste a little more Vietnamese. And of course, the star of the show, the vermicelli rice noodles! I love using the really thin ones but you can also use the slightly thicker, more spaghetti-like noodles.
Peanut dressing is probably my favorite sauce ever. I absolutely love using peanut butter in dressings, sauces, marinades, soups, stir fries, curries, basically anything and everything. If you’re allergic to peanuts you can easily swap with almond butter, or try sun butter if you’re into that (can’t vouch for it, just use a nut/seed butter you like the taste of!). Or try any of your favorite dressings.
Then just mix everything together and boom! Dinner (or lunch) (for the week if you double/triple) is served! It really can’t get any easier.
If you do try out this recipe, please don’t forget to tag me in your recreations on instagram @ellielikes.cooking and/or leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it! I love seeing all of your tasty recreations 🙂 Happy cooking!
Check out these other great summer dishes!
Vermicelli Noodle Salad with Soy-Lime Tofu
- 1 14oz block firm tofu
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
- ½ tbsp maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove grated
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 4 oz dry vermicelli rice noodles
- 1 carrot julienned
- 1 cucumber julienned
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 green onion sliced
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 tbsp maple syrup add more if desired
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- Prepare the tofu. Slice tofu in half lengthwise, then cut into slabs or cubes, depending on your preference. Mix together remaining ingredients for the soy-lime marinade. Pour the marinade into a wide baking dish (large enough to fit the cut up tofu). Add a tbsp of water if there is not enough marinade to cover the bottom of the dish. Place tofu slabs in the marinade and let sit at least 10 minutes each side.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients. Soak vermicelli in just-boiled water until tender (or to your liking), about 5 minutes. Drain.
- Mix together vermicelli, carrots, cucumber, cilantro, green onion, and lettuce and set aside.
- Mix together all dressing ingredients until well combined. Taste and add extra maple syrup if you want it sweeter, and add another pinch of red pepper flakes if you want it spicier.
- When tofu has marinated long enough, heat a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Place tofu on pan and cook until browned on the bottom. Flip, add any leftover marinade to the pan, and continue to cook until the marinade evaporates and the tofu is browned.
- Mix dressing with salad ingredients and top with tofu. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Store leftovers covered in the fridge (with or without dressing is fine).
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