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Thai Rice Noodle Salad with Prawns and Pork

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This delicious Thai rice noodle salad can be served hot or cold.

I’m a big fan of Thai food and this rice noodle salad is one of my favourite light meals.

It’s so easy to make and is bursting with amazing flavours. Sometimes simple recipes are much more tasty than you might think.

I love the spicy chillies, the salty flavour of the fish sauce and the tart lime juice in the dressing.

Rice noodle salad

This Thai rice noodle salad is so good! Give it a try today.

How to upscale this rice noodle salad.

I usually make Thai rice noodle salad for my wife and myself. It’s a quick lunch that never disappoints.

Sometimes, however I like to serve it to a crowd. Upscaling the recipe is easy. Just double or triple it or make even more.

The only think I will say is that if you don’t like really spicy food, it is a good idea to add the chillies to taste at the end.

Working ahead

Rice noodle salad can be made ahead of time. In fact, many people prefer this salad cold from the fridge. So making it and serving it later works well for them.

I do suggest serving the salad the day you make it though. You don’t want those rice noodles to dry out. If they do, just add a bit more dressing.

As for the prawns and pork, they can be cooked a couple of days before serving and then kept in the fridge covered.

The dressing too can be made well in advance.

Rice noodle salad has a tendency to stick together. Those rice noodles can be troublesome but give it all a good stir and add more dressing if needed and all will be good.

How to serve the rice noodle salad…

This Thai salad can be served on its own which is what I normally do.

It is also a delicious side dish for Thai barbecues. It’s quite filling and colourful so a little goes a long way if served as a side.

soaking rice noodles

soak the right noodles in warm water for 10 minutes.

While the rice noodles are soaking, you can get on with making the dressing. 

It only takes a few minutes. 

dry ingredients for salad dressing

Place the dry ingredients for the salad dressing in a pestle and mortar.

Pounded dry ingredients for rice noodle salad

Pound until you have a thick paste.

Finished salad dressing

Then add the fish sauce, lime juice and sesame oil.

With the dry noodles soaked and rehydrated, place them in boiling water for two minutes. That’s all it takes. 

Cooking the rice noodles

Cooking the rice noodles is quick and easy.

Drain the rice noodles after the two minutes and leave them in a sieve to release excess moisture. 

Pour out all but about 125ml (1/2 cup) of the water. It’s ok if a few noodles get left behind. 

cooking the prawns

Simmer the prawns in the water for about two minutes or until cooked through.

pork added to the water

Now add the minced pork to the water and use a fork or chop stick to break it up.

Finished pork

Once the pork is cooked through, continue cooking until all the water has dissolved.

With every thing cooked, start building your rice noodle salad. 

You really could just throw everything in.

rice noodle salad

Place the veggies in a mixing bowl and top with the prawns.

Adding pork to the salad

Then add the cooked minced pork.

Adding noodles

Add the noodles and pour the dressing over the top. Toss well.

rice noodle salad

Divide between 2 – 4 plates. Serve warm or chill for 30 minutes in the fridge if you prefer a cold salad.

I like this rice noodle salad served with dried chilli flakes. Really good and just a bit spicy. You could also add toasted sesame seeds for presentation. 

If you like this Thai rice noodle salad recipe, you might also like to try some of these Thai favourites…

Spicy grilled Thai chicken
Thai whole fried fish
Thai grilled lemongrass chicken
Pad Thai

Yield: 2 - 4

Thai Rice Noodle Salad with Prawns and Pork

Rice noodle salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) raw glass noodles
  • 6 baby plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 shallots - thinly sliced
  • 1 stick celery with leaves, thinly sliced
  • 100g
  • 10 small (or a few large) raw prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 125g (4 1/2 oz) minced (ground) pork
  • 10 roasted cashews - roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro) stalks
  • 3 red bird’s eye chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar, grated
  • 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 3 1 ⁄2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 - 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • Dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Soak the noodles as per the instructions on the packet but as a rule of thumb, soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: place the soaked dried shrimp, garlic, coriander (cilantro) stalks, bird’s eye chillies and palm sugar in a pestle and mortar and pound to a smooth paste. This should only take a minute or two.
  3. Pour in the fish sauce and lime juice and stir well. Taste and adjust the ingredients to your liking and set this dressing aside.
  4. Put the tomatoes, shallots, celery and carrots in a salad bowl.
  5. Now bring a saucepan of water to a boil over a medium-high heat and add the soaked glass noodles to cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the noodles with tongs or a slotted spoon and place in a sieve to drain away the excess water. Set aside.
  7. Pour out all but 125ml ( 1/2 cup) of the water in the pan and return to the heat. Add the prawns (shrimp) and cook them for about 2 minutes, or until cooked through.
  8. Transfer with a slotted spoon to rest on the hot noodles.
  9. Add the minced (ground) pork to the remaining water and turn the heat up to high. Stir continuously, breaking the pork up as you do into the water. Cook until the water has dissolved and the pork is cooked through. This should take about 5 minutes.
  10. Put the prawns on top of the salad vegetables and add the cooked pork to the bowl too.
  11. Top with the cooked glass noodles and then pour the dressing all over the noodles. This will help separate them.
  12. Add the chopped roasted cashews and coriander leaves and stir it all up.
  13. Serve immediately or place in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes.

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