Rice Noodle Salad with Spring Vegetables and Tahini-Lime Dressing

Author Notes: A versatile cold noodle salad with heaps of vegetables and a wonderfully sweet and sour tahini-lime dressing. Elizabeth Stark

Serves: 2 to 4


For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced chile (I used a serrano here)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (use a good one—I like Red Boat)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 6 tablespoons water

For the salad:

  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, wiped clean, and chopped
  • 4 cups chopped spinach
  • 4 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons minced green onion (from 2 to 3 stalks)
  • lime wedges
In This Recipe


  1. To make the dressing, combine lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chile in a small bowl. Whisk in the fish sauce, tahini, and water. Taste and add more lime, sugar, or chile as needed. Sauce will keep well covered in the fridge for several days.
  2. Cook the rice noodles according to instructions. Drain, rinse well with cold water, and drain again.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and then the mushrooms and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the prepared dressing. Cook for 5 minutes, or just until the mushrooms are soft.
  4. To serve, toss cooked noodles with several tablespoons dressing. Toss the spinach with a tablespoon of dressing, and set atop the noodles. Add carrots, mint, cilantro, and green onion to taste. Top with warm mushrooms, another drizzle of dressing, and a squeeze of lime.

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