rice noodle salad with shrimp & peanut dressing

Too often, Tom & I order summer rolls only to be disappointed.  Again.  They sound good in theory, healthier versions of deep fried eggrolls & spring rolls, essentially salad rolled up in sheets of rice paper, accompanied by a dipping sauce.  But the fillings can be too dry, unless you get a big mouthful of sauce, & then you can’t taste any of the filling, so there’s really no balance, & we usually end up wishing we had just gone for the spring rolls to begin with.

That’s why we weren’t overly excited to see summer rolls on the schedule for this week’s Food Matters Project recipe.  BUT, the ingredients for the peanut dipping sauce are reminiscent of the peanut dressing from this rice noodle salad, one of our favorite quick & easy meals, so here we are with a variation of that.

This simple base of rice noodles leaves lots of room for variation & would be good with any number of fresh veggies & whatever protein you have on hand.  We tossed some sautéed shrimp in this time, but we usually throw in some browned slices of tofu, which is why I’m also tagging this as vegetarian.  Whatever combination you choose, a healthy squirt of Sriracha is never out of place 🙂

To see the original recipe, along with a great step-by-step tutorial that would be helpful for rolling summer rolls, spring rolls & more, be sure to visit this week’s host, Alyssa at Everyday Maven.  For all the other versions of this week’s recipe, check out the other participants’ submissions at The Food Matters Project.

serves 4

1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated garlic
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

8oz rice noodles, linguine shape
1/2 lb cooked shrimp
1/2 English cucumber, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 medium carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Add all the dressing ingredients to a mini food processor or blender & blend on high until smooth.  Set aside.

Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions.  When al dente, drain, then submerge in a large bowl of cold water.  Keep in the water until ready to use.

When ready to assemble, drain the noodles once more.  Place back in the large bowl.  Add the shrimp,  cucumber, bell pepper, carrot & green onions.  Pour the dressing over top & toss to coat.  Sprinkle chopped basil & cilantro over top & serve with Sriracha on the side.

dressing adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook, salad slightly adapted from Cate’s World Kitchen

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4 Responses to rice noodle salad with shrimp & peanut dressing

  1. Lexi says:

    That salad sounds great!

  2. Great looking salad! Such a good point about the dryness. Now, after making my own a few times, I have come to believe that is because they are sitting around way toooooo long before being served since the fresh ones didn’t have that element at all.

  3. LauraC says:

    This looks perfect!
    I feel like such a fangirl, always commenting how delicious everything looks. But you are really inspiring me to get cooking more!

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