Vegan Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Grapefruit Dressing


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This Vegan Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad is healthy, gluten-free and refreshing thanks to a zingy grapefruit dressing. Perfect for vegan meal prepping!

Healthy Vegan Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with grapefruit and peanuts in a bowl

Ok friends, one month in and I have found my groove in my new hometown, Merida. The home renovations are starting this week and I am sending you this vegan rice noodle salad recipe from my Air BnB to which I had to flee after the painters started their work on our place. 

Kinda missing my fridge though. All I have for now is a mini kitchen, which is fine for heating up stuff. But then I would need some stuff to heat up in the first place. 

For now, it’s takeaway. That’s ok. There’s a time for everything. For all you lucky ones that have a fully equipped kitchen, there is no excuse to be healthy this week.

Look, I’ll even make it easy for you and send you my new fave meal prep salad recipe.

a slice of grapefruit on a white surface

This healthy Vegan Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad will be your new favorite! 

What I love about this Vegan Vietnamese Noodle Salad, is that it is refreshing and filling at the same time. 

Perfect for warmer days! Plus, it’s loaded with veggies and it’s got added vitamins and some serious zing from the grapefruit filets! 

The best part? I won’t lie, it’s the fried onions we put both in the rice noodle salad and on top!

I have mentioned this in my Vegan Rice and Lentil Pilaf recipe and I will mention it again. Adding fried onions to your salads is probably the most delicious way to impart sweetness to a vegetable-based recipe.

side view of Vegan Vietnamese rice noodle salad with grapefruit on a white plate

How to make Vegan Vietnamese Noodle Salad: 

This rice noodle salad recipe is pretty simple. We start by chopping the veg before we move on to frying the onions. 

I used coconut oil for frying them but avocado oil works fine, too. Set aside half of the onions for decoration.

Now, prepare the rice noodles. Depending on which size you went with, they need to be cooked longer or shorter. 

I will explain the cooking process in more detail below. While I soak my rice noodles, I prepare my grapefruit dressing. 

Then all you need to do is toss all ingredients in a bowl and top with fried onions! DONE!

a bunch of fresh cilantro in a glass

How to cook rice noodles correctly? 

Rice noodles turn into mush really quickly if you don’t watch them carefully. Here’s how we make perfect rice noodles for rice noodle salad recipes.

Place all your rice noodles in a mixing bowl, trying not to break them as you remove them from the package. I know, almost impossible.

Bring a good amount of water to boil. Pour the boiling water over the rice noodles until they are completely submerged.

Every minute or two, stir the rice noodles with a fork to loosen them up. When they have softened, give them a taste to see if they’re cooked to your liking.

Thin vermicelli noodles will cook through in just a few minutes. The flat rice noodles might take upwards of ten minutes depending on thickness.

You might want to test the rice noodles frequently because they’ll become mushy if they overcook.

Once the noodles are perfect – that is, soft yet with a slight chew, – drain them and run them under cool water to stop the cooking process.

Toss the rice noodles with a tsp of sesame oil to keep them from sticking to each other while you prep your dressing.

close-up of vegan Vietnamese rice noodle salad with grapefruit dressing

Chef’s Tips for making this vegan rice noodle salad recipe: 

  • Even with a bit of sesame oil, the rice noodles still tend to clump up after you drain them. They will loosen again once you toss the noodles with the grapefruit dressing.
  • I use a mix of avocado oil and sesame oil in this rice noodle salad recipe because I don’t want the sesame flavor to overpower the grapefruit. 
  • Coconut sugar is my sugar of choice here but maple syrup works fine plus is dissolves more easily. You can use honey, but then it’s not vegan anymore.
  • If I have guests over, I double the dressing recipe and serve some dressing on the side. Some like a lot of dressing on their noodle salad and if you don’t serve it right away, you might need to toss with some more dressing. 

vegan Vietnamese rice noodle salad with Asian grapefruit dressing on a plate

Recipe Variations: 

  • If you can’t get good grapefruits, you can use mandarin oranges. 
  • Not a fan or cilantro? This rice noodle salad tastes pretty awesome with Thai Basil.
  • Want to keep this vegan Vietnamese salad low-carb? Make it with cucumber noodles instead of rice noodles.

vegan Vietnamese rice noodle salad with grapefruit on a white plate

For more meatless Asian recipes, make sure to try my Japanese Tofu Katsu Curry, and my Vegan Mango Sriracha Sushi

Did you make and love this Vegan Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

Healthy Vegan Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Grapefruit
5 from 7 votes
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Healthy Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Grapefruit

This Vegan Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad is healthy, gluten-free and refreshing thanks to a zingy grapefruit dressing. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, vietnamese
Keyword healthy rice noodle salad, salad with grapefruit, Vietnamese noodle salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 450 kcal
Author Kiki Johnson

Ingredients

  • 1 big red onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 200 ml refined coconut oil for frying or avocado oil
  • 100 g rice noodles gluten-free and vegan
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 lime a big one, no key lime
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil or half and half avocado and sesame oil
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 20 g roasted peanuts 2 tbsps
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Slice the onion. Peel the carrot and cut into slices.  Wash cucumber and cut into strips. Alternatively, you can spiralize carrot and cucumber using a vegetable spiralizer.  Supreme the grapefruit and squeeze out the grapefruit core over the filets to not waste the juice.

  2. Heat the refined coconut oil in a pan on medium-high heat until it reaches about 170 C (338 F) and fry the onion rings in 2 portions to not crowd the pan. Fry until crispy, then place on a kitchen paper-lined plate. 

  3. Bring about 1 l of water to a boil and prepare the noodles by soaking them in hot water as described in the post. As soon as they are cooked, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and toss with some sesame oil. 

  4. Peel and mince garlic. Halve chili and deseed. Mince the chili finely. Add both to a small bowl and add soy sauce, a pinch of salt and 2 tsp of coconut sugar or maple syrup. Halve the lime and add the juice to the bow along with the avocado oil. If using coconut sugar, stir well until the coconut sugar has dissolved. 

  5. Chop the cilantro and peanuts and add to the noodles along with all other ingredients. Add grapefruit filets WITH all the juice. Toss and serve topped with fried onions.

Recipe Notes

  • Even with a bit of sesame oil, the rice noodles still tend to clump up after you drain them. They will loosen again once you toss the noodles with the grapefruit dressing.
  • I use a mix of avocado oil and sesame oil in this rice noodle salad recipe because I don't want the sesame flavor to overpower the grapefruit. 
  • Coconut sugar is my sugar of choice here but maple syrup works fine plus is dissolves more easily. You can use honey, but then it's not vegan anymore.
  • If I have guests over, I double the dressing recipe and serve some dressing on the side. Some like a lot of dressing on their noodle salad and if you don't serve it right away, you might need to toss with some more dressing. 
Vegan Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Grapefruit Dressing | You will love this easy gluten-free Asian salad served cold on a hot day. #healthyveganrecipes #saladrecipe
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7 Comments


  1. I love Vietnamese flavors, they are so fresh and flavorful. Not heard of a grapefruit dressing but it sounds like a tasty twist.


  2. This rice noodle salad looks beautiful! So fresh and it sounds flavorful. Wish I had a big plate of this in front of me right now!


  3. love Vietnamese food! and love the grapefruit addition-yum!


  4. I love Vietnamese rice noodle salad, always order one when I visit a Vietnamese restaurant. I’m going to bookmark and give your recipe a try. The addition of grapefruit is very interesting. 🙂


  5. I loved it! A new favorite for weeknights!


  6. This salad reminds me of good summer days. Love how refreshing it is and all the ingredients.

  7. Baguio Restaurants by Mae


    Been craving for some Vietnamese food, good thing that I’ve read your blog. Will surely try this Vietnamese cuisine, it looks delicious.

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