Vietnamese Crab Salad with Rice Noodles

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is a really gorgeous and substantial salad and I absolutely adore these sweet, salty Southeast Asian flavors.

Serves10 as a starter



Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, high-calcium, lactose-free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecrunchy, garlicky, herby, hot & spicy, nutty, salty, spiced, sweet, tart

Type of Dishfirst course salad, main course salad, salad


  • ½ cup (4 oz) sugar, or more, to taste
  • 6 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice or lime juice (juice of 2 lemons or about 3 limes)
  • 2-3 small chiles, deseeded and sliced finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 9 oz thin or medium rice noodles
  • 5 oz peanuts
  • 1 lb cooked crabmeat
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped
  • 11 oz radishes, trimmed and sliced
  • ¼ c roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stalks


  1. To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients in a pitcher. Put the noodles in a bowl of boiling water for 5 minutes until they have softened. Drain and rinse. Meanwhile, toast the peanuts under the broiler preheated to hot. Rub off the skins and roughly chop the nuts.

  2. In a bowl, toss together the dressing with the noodles, then add the crabmeat, chopped cucumber and sliced radishes. Sprinkle the toasted peanuts and the cilantro over the top and serve.


  3. Crunchy Vietnamese Salad With Rice Noodles

  4. Replace the crab with 4 oz each of bean sprouts, watercress and grated carrot.


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