Meat Free Monday: Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodles

Nothing but freshness in this bowl Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad. julienne Carrots and Cucumber, Beans Cprouts, fresh herbs like Mint, Basil and Cilantro and vermicelli noodles tossed in spicy chili vinaigrette dressing and topped with toasted peanuts. It cannot get any fresher than this.

Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad with Chili Sauce

This is what I call a salad noodles recipe. It is a mixed of simple easily accessible vegetables and fresh herbs with chili dressing. I like recipe like this that I can pull off in 30 minutes, or less. There’s nothing complicated about the process, once you’ve made this once you’ll have the rest of the condiments needed for this recipe available in your pantry for quite a long time so whenever you feel like it, you can easily make it. In my case, I don’t use fish sauce, and rice wine vinegar a lot, and the bottles that bought to make this recipe will last for months. Call it a good cheap condiment investment. Let’s talk about the recipe.

How to Make Chili Vinaigrette Dressing

Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad Vinaigrette Chili Dressing

When I said there’s nothing complicated about the process of making this recipe, I really mean it. The sauce for instance is as easy as adding all the ingredient in a pan and bringing it to boil. That’s just it. We are boiling to extract the flavor and to melt the sweetener. You can easily adjusts the taste and add more sweetener or fish salt to adjusts the sweetness and saltiness level. If you want a more stronger vinegar flavor, simply add more rice vinegar

Heat Alert

As this is a Chili Vinaigrette Dressing, expect that this is going to be hot. Using fresh Red Chili is definitely going to jump up the spice level, so if you don’t like it to hot, do not use fresh Red Chili as they are really hot. I mean really. Don’t tell me that I did not warn you. Use Red Chili flakes instead, it is still hot but not as hot as the fresh Red Chili a Peppers. Another tip, add the Chili peppers after turning of the heat, this way it will not be too hot. But if you like it hot like I do, I usually add the red Chili peppers half way mark the cooking, at 3 minutes time, that leaves 2 minutes to cook and extract the heat. If you don’t like it hot, skip the red Chili peppers altogether. 

Options to Sweeten the Dressing

There are several options that you can use to sweeten the dressing. I used coconut sugar which tends to be less sweetener so I used 3 tablespoon. You can also use brown sugar, Honey of granulated sugar but bear in mind that measurement will differ. Honey is sweetener than white or brown sugar, so you may need less. White and brown sugar is sweetener than coconut sugar so you may not meet 4 tablespoon like when I used coconut sugar. I suggest start with 1 tablespoon and keep adjusting as needed until you reach your sweet spot

Garlic Peanut Sauce, Alternative to Chili Vinaigrette Dressing

You can use your own recipe, but if you do not have one I have a simple garlic Peanut Sauce in my website. Get the FULL RECIPE HERE. The peanut sauce recipe makes about 1 cup, more than enough for this Vietnamese Rolls.

Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad with Chili Sauce

The Salad

To make the salad, the most involve in this process is the cutting and chopping. Cut the carrots and cucumber in thin strips, it’s called julienne. I tried using my julienne cutter but I find it to be quite thick to my liking, so I decided to manually cut it. It works better. Once this is done, add the chopped basil, cilantro and mint to add more freshness. Although optional, I recommend adding bean sprouts, this add nice texture and I love the crunch and fresh taste of it.

Vermicelli Noodles

I used the Vermicelli Noodles sold in 5 singles in one pack. This works for me as 1 piece is just right for making this recipe. I like having a good balance between noodles and vegetable but if you like to add more noodles, then do so. To cook Vermicelli Noodles, boil a water in a  pan. Once it reach the boiling point, turn off the heat and add the vermicelli noodles. Leave it soaked for 5 minutes and drain

Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad with Chili Vinaigrette Sauce

Put Them Together

Once you have everything ready, simply toss everything in a bowl and add more or less dressing as you like. Sprinkle top with toasted peanuts (optional) for more crunch and pleasing presentation, more fresh basil, cilantro and mint is welcome to.

What to Do with Leftover

Although this recipe is good only for 2-3 people, if you have a leftover, don’t worry. Use the leftover to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls. You can add shrimp, chicken, tofu or any protein that you like, or leave it vegan like this. Check out the recipe HERE. Want to get inspired how to make it? Watch this short video, a tutorial on how to wrap Vietnamese Spring Rolls. 

Ingredients for Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad with Chili Sauce


Chili Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/3 cup Rice Vine Vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons Coconut Sugar ( or Brown Sugar, Honey, granulated Sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Flakes or 1 large fresh Red Chili Pepper (read heat alert notes below in the post)
  • 1 tablespoon Red onion, chopped or use a shallot
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher Salt

For the Salad

  • 4–5 ounces uncooked rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 1/4 cups julienned Carrot
  • 1 1/4 cups julienned Cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon roasted, unsalted peanuts – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil


  1. Make the Chili Vinaigrette: Place the chili vinaigrette ingredients (except the chili flakes or fresh red chili) in a small sauce pan, bring to a simmer for five minutes. Turn the heat off and add the chili flakes or fresh red chili. If you prefer a quite hot dressing, add the chili flakes or fresh red chili along with the other ingredients when you bring it to a boil. Taste and adjust as desired. Set aside while you prepare the vegetable.
  2. Cook the Noodles: Bring a water into a boil. Once it reach the boiling stage, turn off the heat at soak the vermicelli noodles for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer in a large mixing bowl big enough to hold the vegetables later.
  3. Cut the Vegetables: Cut the carrot and cucumber in strip. You can use a julliene cutter or do it manually with a knife. I prefer using a knife to do this so that I can cut it thinly. Chop the Basil, Cilantro and Mint.
  4. Mix: Place drained rinsed noodles in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and herbs. Pour the dressing to the amount to your liking. I used 2 tablespoon because I do not like it too soaked, feel free to add more or less as you like. Top with crushed peanuts.
  5. For extra protein, add chicken cooked to your liking or tofu for a vegetarian option.

Serves 2 – 3

Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad

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