Colorful Toasted Sesame Noodle Salad Recipe

If you're looking for a light salad that doesn't scrimp on taste, perhaps for a picnic, lunch, or as a side dish, this colorful toasted sesame noodle salad is a great all-year-rounder. Created by Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye, this recipe takes its principal inspiration from Asian-style flavors, centering around the deliciously nutty taste of toasted sesame oil, which is paired with the salty tang of soy sauce, the zingy citrus flavor of lime, and a pungent warm kick from the garlic and ginger.

Toasted sesame oil is an excellent ingredient for salad dressings, and not just due to its nutty flavor, but also due to its various health benefits. It contains both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants such as vitamin E, lignans, and sesaminol. Some sources also attribute anti-inflammatory properties to sesame oil. It's no wonder that it is used in medicinal practices.

With the inclusion of fresh, raw vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals, this recipe truly is a health fest. And, not only do the veggies provide an abundance of nutrients, but they also give the dish a delightful crunchy texture, as well as create a brightly colored feast for the eyes. Great enjoyed alone or served as a side to accompany a fish or chicken-based main, this salad is sure to be a hit.

Gather the ingredients for this colorful toasted sesame noodle salad

To begin this colorful toasted sesame noodle salad recipe, first, you will need to gather the ingredients. For the dressing you will want toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, honey, minced ginger and garlic, and red chili flakes. You will also require rice noodles for this dish, which are gluten-free, but if you'd prefer to use a different kind, that will work just as well.

Lastly, you will need a range of fresh vegetables. Rye has opted for sugar snap peas, carrots, red cabbage, bell peppers, scallions, and edamame beans. However, you can sub these out if you prefer a different kind, or if you have any vegetables that are floating around the fridge that need to be used up.

Mix the salad dressing

While it is simple enough to buy salad dressings ready-made from the supermarket, making your own at home will often result in a much more flavorful dressing. Also, you can be sure there aren't any additives or preservatives, and you can balance out the ingredients to your own personal liking. For example, if you are a garlic lover, why not add a little bit more garlic?

This salad dressing can easily be mixed in a bowl, but there is a neat trick you can also use if you don't have a whisk or prefer less cleanup. Just take an empty, sealable jar, add in the dressing ingredients, put the lid on tightly, and shake to combine the ingredients quickly and thoroughly. It's as simple as that!

Cook the noodles

The next step is to cook the noodles. This is as simple as putting them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them until they are submerged. Leave them to cook (follow the instructions on the packet for timings) and then drain them and run cold water over them so they don't overcook.

If you want to use a different kind of noodle for this salad, you can easily substitute out the rice noodles for your preferred variety; simply follow the cooking instructions on the packet and then follow the rest of the recipe like normal. 

Toss the salad elements together

The last step is simply bringing all the different elements of the salad together. Using a large bowl, combine the cooked rice noodles with the raw vegetables, and then pour over the mixed toasted sesame salad dressing. Gently toss everything together to thoroughly coat the veggies and the noodles in the delicious dressing. When you're ready to serve, if you like, you can sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

If you're not planning to eat straight away, store this noodle salad in the fridge, but don't forget to take the salad out to let it sit at room temperature for a little while before serving for the best flavor and texture. This salad can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

Colorful Toasted Sesame Noodle Salad Recipe
5 from 36 ratings
This recipe takes its inspiration from Asian-style flavors, including toasted sesame oil paired with soy sauce, lime, and a warm kick from garlic and ginger.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Colorful toasted sesame noodle salad
Total time: 17 minutes
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 6 ounces rice noodles
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup edamame beans
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Optional Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  1. Add the toasted sesame oil, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and chili flakes to a bowl and mix everything together to form the salad dressing. Set aside.
  2. In a large, heatproof bowl, add the noodles. Boil a kettle and pour the hot water over the noodles until they are just submerged. Leave them to cook according to the packets instructions.
  3. Once the noodles are just cooked, drain them in a colander and then run them under the cold water tap to stop the cooking process.
  4. In a large bowl, add the cooked rice noodles, sugar snap peas, sliced carrot, red cabbage, bell peppers, scallions, edamame beans, and cilantro.
  5. Pour the mixed salad dressing over the ingredients in the bowl, and then toss everything together to thoroughly coat it in the toasted sesame dressing before serving. Top with sesame seeds when serving, if desired.
Calories per Serving 380
Total Fat 15.7 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 51.9 g
Dietary Fiber 5.4 g
Total Sugars 10.7 g
Sodium 978.3 mg
Protein 9.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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