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Crunchy, colorful and flavor-packed vegan Thai noodle salad with a red cabbage slaw with kale and Thai noodles tossed in a tangy peanut-lime dressing.
This fresh and simple Thai Noodle Salad recipe packs in a ton of flavor and crunch in every bite.
It starts with Pad Thai-style noodles tossed with a slaw made with shredded red cabbage and chopped kale. The salad comes together with a super-tangy peanut dressing with just the right amount of spice.
I l-o-v-e eating one-bowl meals that feel light yet satisfying, and are full of tasty umami-loaded ingredients.
This combination noodle salad + cabbage slaw pushes all the buttons for me.
I promise you that the combination of crisp, cool texture from the vegetables and peanuts along with and sweet-sour flavors will have you hooked right away, too!
How to make the slaw
This vibrant Asian cabbage slaw is completely vegan, made with a mix of colorful vegetables you can grab straight from the produce drawer of your fridge:
- Red cabbage
- Curly green or purple kale
- Bell pepper – I used purple but any color is great
- Red onion
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Cooked noodles: Hokkein, udon, ramen or pad-thai rice noodles
- Optional: Add in a handful of any other leftover vegetable bits you might have on hand, such as matchstick-sliced carrots, snow peas or snap peas.
The secret sauce behind this flavor bomb salad is a dressing that bursts with tangy fresh lime Here’s what you need:
- Fresh lime juice
- Tamari (gluten-free) or soy sauce
- Toasted peanut or sesame oil
- Roasted unsalted peanuts (cashews work well too)
- Maple syrup
- Korean chili pepper (gochugaru) is a crushed red chili pepper that has a mild heat. You can use crushed red chili pepper flakes or cayenne instead (but use less).
- Chopped shallot and cilantro
- Thai peanut sauce (if you’re not using the Annie Chun’s Noodle Bowl which comes with a sauce packet, use your favorite brand of peanut sauce instead).
Assembling the noodle salad
After you’ve gathered your ingredients and whisked the dressing, you can mix the slaw in a matter of minutes.
Cabbage slaws are perfect to make ahead because they hold up well for hours, and up a day or two refrigerated. Because time allows the sturdy cabbage to absorb the flavor, they often taste even better!
More Asian-inspired dishes to crave:
Peanut-Lime Thai Noodle Salad
Thai Peanut Dressing
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
- 1 tablespoon toasted peanut or sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon roasted unsalted peanuts or cashews , crushed
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Korean chili pepper (gochugaru) or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili
- ¼ cup (60 ml) Thai peanut sauce (if you're not using Annie Chun's Noodle Bowl)
- 1 package Annie Chun's Thai-Style Pad Thai Noodle Bowl or 1 1/2 cups cooked udon, ramen or pad Thai noodles
- 2 cups (175 g) shredded red cabbage
- 2 cups (135 g) green or purple kale, sliced into ribbons
- ½ cup (80 g) thinly sliced red onion
- ½ red or purple bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 2 tablespoons crushed unsalted peanuts or cashews (if not using a Noodle Bowl)
Make the dressing
- Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until blended. Add the peanut sauce only if you're not using an Annie Chun's Noodle Bowl.
Make the slaw
- Heat the noodles and topping packet according to package directions, using 2 tablespoons water. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with the peanut sauce packet. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes. Skip this if you're using other pre-cooked noodles – just add them to a serving bowl.
- Add the cabbage, kale, onion, bell pepper and dressing to the noodles and toss together with tongs. Top with the Pad Thai peanut packet (or 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts or cashews) and serve.
Hey, I’m Karen
Creator of Familystyle Food
I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.