Spring Rice Noodle Salad with Chili Maple Peanuts, Celery & Peas

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 8 votes

This 30 minute spring rice noodle salad is loaded with fresh and crisp vegetables, flavourful herbs, a simple and punchy dressing, and crunchy spicy-sweet peanuts. This vegan and gluten-free dish is a satisfying side for any protein that you're serving up.

An overhead shot of a rice noodle salad in a large bowl with lots of small-diced fresh spring vegetables. The salad is topped with chili and maple syrup roasted peanuts that have been chopped.
An individual serving of a spring rice noodle salad with peas, snap peas, radishes, sliced celery, mint, cilantro, green onions, and chopped chili maple peanuts on top.
An overhead shot of ingredients used for a Spring-inspired noodle salad.
Image shows oil coming from a cream-coloured cruet being poured onto cooked rice noodles in a colander.

I remember eating celery sticks filled with peanut butter as a kid, and I still really love that combination. Something about crisp and watery celery with that intense peanut flavour that just works. This childhood snack was the inspiration for the flavour profile of this rice noodle salad! Naturally I wanted to bump up the veg, add some heat, and aim for a variation in textures.

I start by making chili maple glazed peanuts for the garnish/crunch factor. I cheat by getting the roasted and salted ones at the store that already have a good level of seasoning. They get quickly caramelized in a pan with the maple and ground chillies (I use Diaspora Guntur Sannam). Once they cool, we chop them up fine.

I dress the salad with a punchy but simple dressing of coconut aminos, lime, rice vinegar, chili oil, avocado oil, black pepper, and a hint of sweetness. The dressing on its own will taste slightly unbalanced. Maybe too acidic and possibly too salty for some tastes? I’ve learned that this is an ideal strategy for noodle salads! It all balances out in the end.

Celery is the main focus of the veg here, but I couldn’t resist some other Spring-y add-ins like peas, chopped snap peas, and radishes. A heavy hand with the green onions, mint, and cilantro is also a major contributor to the success of this salad.

Any protein that you like would be a great companion to this recipe. I recommend my Crispy Sesame Garlic Tofu, my Crispy Coconut Tofu or this Marinated and Grilled Tempeh. Hope you give this rice noodle salad a go soon! :)

An up close shot of chili maple peanuts being glazed in a sauté pan.
An overhead shot of prepped and chopped vegetables and herbs plus a jar of dressing for a noodle salad.
Overhead image shows a hand using a pair of basic kitchen tongs to toss together and combine some rice noodles, chopped vegetables, and herbs.
An up close overhead shot of a rice noodle salad in a large bowl with lots of small-diced fresh spring vegetables. The salad is topped with chili and maple syrup roasted peanuts that have been chopped.

Spring Rice Noodle Salad with Chili Maple Peanuts, Celery & Peas

This 30 minute spring rice noodle salad is loaded with fresh and crisp vegetables, flavourful herbs, a simple and punchy dressing, and crunchy spicy-sweet peanuts. This vegan and gluten-free dish is a satisfying side for any protein that you're serving up.
5 from 8 votes
An up close overhead shot of a rice noodle salad in a large bowl with lots of small-diced fresh spring vegetables. The salad is topped with chili and maple syrup roasted peanuts that have been chopped.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

Chili Maple Peanuts (makes extra)

  • 1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
  • 2 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground chillies

Dressing

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar/agave nectar/maple syrup
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Rice Noodle Salad

  • 16 oz Brown rice noodles
  • avocado oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 sticks celery, finely sliced
  • 1 heaped cup snap peas, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (could also use fresh shelled peas)
  • 4-5 radishes, chopped
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin
  • cup mint leaves, chopped
  • cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Notes

  • You can use Tamari instead of coconut aminos. I do find that Tamari has a deeper, much more salty flavour, so I would cut the amount back to 1/4 cup or even 3 tablespoons if you’re sensitive to salty flavours.
  • I use the ground Guntur Sannam Chillies from Diaspora Co. for the peanuts. They are incredible here!
  • The chili maple peanuts can go from perfectly glazed and golden to burnt really fast. I recommend keeping an eye on them the entire time and stirring constantly.

Instructions

  • Make the chili maple peanuts. Preheat a dry, medium skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the peanuts, maple syrup, and chillies. It's going to really sizzle! Cook, stirring frequently, until syrup is caramelized/clinging and the peanuts are toasted, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer the peanuts to a plate and scatter them out in a single layer with a spatula. Let them cool completely.
  • Make the dressing. In a sealable jar, combine the coconut aminos, lime juice, rice vinegar, avocado oil, chili oil, sugar, and black pepper. Close the lid tightly and give it a vigorous shake to combine. Set aside.
  • Cook the rice noodles according to package directions and drain. As soon as you drain them, run some cold water over the noodles to cool them down and to wash off excess starch. Then, drizzle a bit of avocado oil over the drained noodles and give them a toss with your hands to coat.
  • Transfer the cooked rice noodles to a large bowl and toss them with half of the dressing and some salt and pepper.
  • Roughly chop the cooled chili maple peanuts.
  • To the noodles, add the celery, snap peas, peas, radishes, green onions, mint, cilantro, and remaining dressing. Give everything a good toss to combine. Check the salad for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Then, garnish the rice noodle salad with more herbs and the chopped chili maple peanuts. I like to reserve some of the peanuts for topping individual servings.
  • Enjoy!
A 3/4 angle shot of an individual serving of a spring rice noodle salad with peas, snap peas, radishes, sliced celery, mint, cilantro, green onions, and chopped chili maple peanuts on top.
20/04/2022 (Last Updated 07/03/2024)
Posted in: earthy, gluten free, quick, salad, salty, side dish, spicy, spring, summer, sweet, vegan

9 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Valerie Duross

    5 stars
    This was so good, I ended up making it again for our Easter picnic :)
    Yummmmmmmm

  • Jessica

    5 stars
    This was better than it even needed to be, such a great salad to keep in the fridge for quick lunches, packing for work, etc.

    I made a few substitutions that worked well in case these are helpful for anyone else. I used soba noodles instead of brown rice noodles, I didn’t have quite enough peanuts so I used a handful of pepitas as well as the end of a bag of peanuts, and I used a whole bunch of both radishes and snap peas, so that I wouldn’t have just a few leftover in the fridge that would inevitably go bad. The extra veggies were great and the soba noodles were a great choice. I’ll be making this again for sure, especially in the summer when a cold dinner sounds just right. Fantastic recipe, it felt so gourmet and truly satisfying!

  • Stephanie

    5 stars
    This was so good – the peanuts really made the dish!

  • Jen

    Very good! I used 14oz of stir fry rice noodles. I didn’t have chili oil so added a little sambal but was too afraid to really turn up the heat, since I’m not sure how spicy hot chili oil really is. I’d probably cut back to 12 oz of noodles next time or up the veg even more but I’ll definitely be making it again.

  • Alex

    This was such a lovely, refreshing, and yet very savory salad!! Those chili maple peanuts add the best crunch and I love the flavor combination of maple and chili. Thank you for this recipe!!

  • Autumn

    Omg, the peanuts!!!! I had to make a double batch so I could have some to snack on. Excellent recipe, as always :)

  • deb

    So good. Ate it for lunch and then again for dinner with baked tofu. Perfect.  Asparagus just came into season here and I’d use that as well, just swapping the chili oil for sesame oil, perhaps. Or maybe not!  Thanks for yet another winner, Laura.

  • Nina

    5 stars
    I made this salad for lunch yesterday and had the leftovers today’s, and I’m sad it’s all gone now bc it is delicious and I  wouldn’t mind having it almost everyday! Its fresh and crunchy and full of flavours, I’m definitely making it again! I didn’t have snap peas so I used radishes instead just like in the photos, and added cubed smoked tofu for protein, and it was perfect <3

  • Claudia

    5 stars
    I absolutely loved this recipe! It will be part of our regular menu rotation for sure. I want to play around with the dressing a little to better suit our taste buds, but in all reality, this is a solid winner of a recipe as is!