Cold Rice Noodle Salad with Creamy Tahini

17 Jun

Rice noodles are cool. They start out all stiff and fragile and white and, after just three minutes in boiling water, they turn glassy and soft and a bit sticky. I love their texture and their look, and they remind me of a beloved Filipino chicken and noodle recipe my mom used to make when we were kids, one she got from a very dear Filipino friend.

My son loves them plain; he has taken to burying the fresh peas from our garden under a pile of noodles and carrying on all sorts of conversations with pretend characters as they make their way to his mouth. I am sure there is a whole chapter in the Bad Mommy Handbook about the evils of letting kids play with their food, but I can’t bring myself to care. The last thing I want is for the dinner table– perhaps the last bastion of real family life left to us all — to become a battlefield.

So he plays with his plain rice noodles and peas (“Oh no, don’t let him find me!” says the pea. “I am going to eat you!” says the evil bad guy, played by my son) while I play around with making cool dressings for the part I want to eat.

This one was inspired by Lindsey at Makes and Takes and I modified to suit our tastes and what was available in our garden and pantry. You will note that I used Veganaise – this was a salad my dad promised to try (yes, he is still on his crazy ass diet, but he is not so militant anymore and for this Father’s Day he was downright anarchic), so I used the vegan mayonnaise as a consideration. It’s actually fine for things like this.

You’ll also notice the pea pod option. Leandro eats the peas from the garden, but not the pods (yet), so I took the pods he was emptying and added them. They are unbelievably sweet and crunchy right off the vine and fit right in with the other stuff.

Cold Rice Noodle Salad with Radish, Cucumber, Pea Pods, and Creamy Tahini Dressing


8 oz. rice noodles, prepared according to package directions and cooled.

5 small radishes, greens removed and cut into tiny matchsticks (about 2 Tbs)

¼ hothouse cucumber, cut into tiny matchsticks (about 2 Tbs)

(optional – a handful of peapods – peas removed – cut into tiny matchsticks; microgreens; toasted sesame seeds, matchstick carrots)


2 Tbs mayonnaise or Veganaise

1 tsp rice vinegar

½ tsp sugar

2 generous Tbs tahini

1-2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine

Sriracha or other Asian hot sauce, to taste (I did one generous squeeze)

¼ salt or to taste

Mix salad ingredients together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Add dressing to bowl mix thoroughly, adjust seasoning, and serve.


4 Responses to “Cold Rice Noodle Salad with Creamy Tahini”

  1. Karen June 19, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    When you can get a child to eat his vegetables…let him play all he wants. He is building good tastes and you will have fun memories. I like the tahini in your noodle salad.

  2. Mad Dog June 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    If playing with his food gets your son eating all his dinner you could sell the idea to other mums! I might have to switch the Veganaise, but otherwise very interesting recipe 😉

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