I probably don’t make this Vietnamese Noodle Salad often enough. It’s really fun to put together and super tasty too. This time around though I wanted to make it vegetarian friendly. Tofu seemed too obvious and too been-there-done-that. Somehow I thought of chickpeas, and yeap, that was a good idea! The marinade is really fragrant and delicious, and was probably one of my first off-the-top-of-my-head recipes a couple of years ago that was serious a winner. It’s so versatile you can use it to marinade chicken and fish too!
It was also about time that I took out the spiralizer again. I love my spiralizer. It makes vegetables so much more fun, don’t you think? I’m not sure about the other models, but this one requires a certain size of vegetable or else it won’t spiralize, so I actually have to pick out large carrots (or carrots that are large on one end, as a carrot is typically shaped) and cucumbers. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can very well use a grater, I did for the longest time. Or, another tip: use a vegetable peeler! Run the peeler along the length of your vegetable to get long vege ribbons. I usually avoid the watery part of the cucumber and just simply work around it.
Chickpeas are part of the legume family, which are good for you since they have lots of fibre and also provide you with protein. Since beans and legumes are not complete proteins, you will have to supplement them with other vegetarian sources of protein, and the easiest pairing is rice (brown rice), which have the complementary combination of amino acids. You do have to do some active thinking with vegetable proteins, but it is so worth it when you’re not bogged down with the saturated fat from meat.
I love to serve each component separately and let everyone toss a salad together whichever way they like. Just let everyone grab their own bowl, put as much or as little of each ingredient as they would like and dig in. It’s a great way to serve both vegetarians and non-vegetarians almost the same dish with minimal – make twice the amount of marinade and prepare chicken or fish.
- 1 stick lemongrass
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon tamari
- 2 inch ginger, peeled
- 1 small shallot, peeled
- 1 garlic cloves, peeled
- ¼ - ½ a long red chilli
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons peanut butter
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 8 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ a carrot
- ½ a large cucumber
- ⅓ packet brown rice vermicelli noodles (bee hoon)
- Handful roasted peanuts
- Handful coriander
- Roughly chop up the marinade ingredients and throw into the jar of your hand blender. Add a couple of splashes of water and blend until quite smooth. Mix with the drained and rinsed chickpeas and set aside to marinade.
- Stir together all the dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy. Add a splash more of water if you’d like it runnier. Set aside.
- Spiralize or grate the carrot and cucumber. Pick off the coriander leaves from the stems and roughly chop. Set the salad components aside.
- Pour boiling water over the brown rice vermicelli noodles to soften. While it softens you can cook the chickpeas.
- Heat up a frying pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil, swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chickpeas with the marinade and leave it to cook and brown slightly for two minutes before stirring it around. Once it’s fragrant and slightly browned, remove from heat.
- Drain the noodles with a strainer.
- I like to serve each component separately, so everyone can toss together their own salad at the table. Place each ingredient into a separate bowl, and serve.
P.S. Do you like my new tabletop? Worked on it myself!! I picked up an old coffee table, sandpapered it, then stained it dark. Once the stain was dry, I painted it white, then I rubbed off some of the paint to reveal the stain… I think it looks so cool, and my photos look so awesome now. So giddy with excitement over a table. Guess that makes me a food blogger
Enjoy! xx, Bee