Fragrant Rice Noodle Salad

This is a refreshing noodle salad from Southeast Asia. Although tomatoes are not indigenous to the region, oriental cooks have been completely won over since their introduction a century ago, and for good reason: they are flavoursome, colourful and nutritious. Except for the Eastern dressing ingredients, this could pass for a zesty Italian pasta dish.


  • 225 g (8 oz) flat rice noodles
  • 225 g (8 oz) tomatoes
  • 50 g (2 oz) Italian (red) onions


  • rind of 1 lime, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil, preferably groundnut
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chilli oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh lemon grass
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint


Bring a large pan of water to the boil, remove from the heat and add the rice noodles. Leave to stand for about 15 minutes, then drain and immerse in cold water until required.

If you are using fresh tomatoes, skin, seed and coarsely chop. If you are using tinned tomatoes, coarsely chop. Finely slice the onions.

Combine all the dressing ingredients except for the fresh herbs. Thoroughly drain the noodles and toss them with the dressing, herbs, tomatoes and onions. Serve within 3 hours.