This gluten free Asian Noodle Salad with Broccoli and Cashews makes a delicious, refreshing light lunch. It’s vegan and super easy to make.
Today on the blog Asian Noodle Salad with Broccoli and Cashews which comes with a moreish, easy hoisin dressing. Salad meals are great as they are light yet satisfying, and usually pretty healthy too. In addition to being all of these things this noodle salad is also incredibly easy to make.
Asian noodle salad with broccoli
Broccoli is a very popular vegetable though it can be tricky to prepare successfully. This is because if it’s cooked for too long (even a minute too long) it loses its sweetness, crunch and vibrant green colour. That’s why it’s important to cook the florets for a few minutes only (I cooked mine for about 3 minutes). The stalk is delicious eaten raw and makes a super healthy snack. Just remove the tough outer skin, cut into sticks and enjoy!
Both the florets as well as stalk can be added to salads, either raw or cooked. Because this broccoli salad contains delicate, soft vermicelli I felt that adding tough, raw broccoli might overpower it. So for this Asian salad recipe I decided to cook the broccoli to soften it a little.
See also my Grilled Broccoli Stem Hummus!
Prepping the vermicelli noodles
Bean thread vermicelli is a super convenient ingredient, which can be used in both hot and cold dishes. (Vermicelli can be made using a variety of ingredients so check the packaging to ensure it’s gluten free). Another plus of this versatile ingredient is that it doesn’t need to be cooked, only soaked in hot water. (See packaging instructions and refer to my Instructions below). So it’s ready within minutes!
It also has a mildly sweet, almost neutral flavour, which makes it suitable to use in a wide variety of dishes.
But my favourite quality of this ingredient is the fact that it’s so delicate and light. It’s satiating but doesn’t fill you up in the same way that wheat noodles/pasta do. That’s why it’s an ideal salad ingredient. I’ve used bean thread vermicelli in a similar way in this vegan Pomelo Salad with Noodles.
Easy Hoisin dressing
The dressing in this Asian salad recipe is a combination of sweet, zesty and aromatic. You can make it mild or spicy by adjusting the amount of chilli in the recipe. Using half a chilli, as per Instructions, will produce a mildly spicy dressing. You can also prepare the dressing ahead and keep in the fridge (overnight) until you are ready to make the recipe.
Because this is essentially a 2-ingredient dish (i.e. noodles and broccoli) there is a number of topping ingredients that you can use. A fresh herb is a must and either cilantro, Thai basil or lemon balm will do. I also used cashew nuts and sesame seeds (both white and black) for some crunch, but you could swap cashews for peanuts if you like (toast them lightly first). Spring onions is another popular ingredient in Asian dishes and it’s a good idea to finish off with a scatter of finely chopped spring onions.
I served my Asian Noodle Salad with Broccoli and Cashews in a large, shallow bowl, which allowed me to scatter the toppings generously and create a beautiful salad!
More easy noodle recipes
Check out also this collection of 15+ easy vegan salads for even more salad inspiration!
- 1 large broccoli florets only, large florets chopped into smaller pieces
- 2 portions thread bean vermicelli approx. 100 g
- For the dressing:
- 4.5 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce gluten free available
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil I used rapeseed
- 3.5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1.5 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1.5 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated garlic
- 1/2 chilli pepper with or without the seeds, finely chopped
- Sea salt and pepper to taste optional
- For the topping:
- Fresh herb of your choice coriander, lemon balm or Thai basil
- 2 spring onions finely chopped
- 1/2 cup toasted cashew nuts
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds white and/or black
Soak the vermicelli in freshly boiled hot water as per packaging instructions (I soaked mine for about 5 minutes), drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Steam or boil the broccoli in a small amount of water for a few minutes until tender but still retaining some crunch and vibrant green colour (don't overcook the florets). Transfer into a bowl and set aside to cool.
Combine all the dressing ingredients and stir thoroughly.
In a large bowl combine the vermicelli (chop it up a little first if you like) and the broccoli, pour in the dressing and stir thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper (optional). Add the toppings and enjoy!
Pin Asian Noodle Salad with Broccoli and Cashews
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RECIPE LINK PARTIES
I am bringing this Asian Noodle Salad with Broccoli and Cashews recipe to #CookBlogShare. This week’s host is Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins.