This Vietnamese Style Rice Salad is refreshingly delicious and can easily be made ahead of time. Fresh herbs and bright flavors make this rice salad ideal for summer parties or weekday prep-ahead lunches.
Vietnamese Rice Salad
This past week was a whirlwind of traveling, work, run-training, and meeting up with dear girlfriends I haven’t seen in too long.
Whenever my long time friends and I finally get a chance to chat over coffee, I inevitably get all nostalgic about those hard years when my Littles were truly little. It’s a total cliché, but time flies in the blink of an eye and the years that once felt so mama-exhausting long are now astonishingly short.
Wasn’t it just yesterday that my 14-year-old was 14 months old and sobbing at his first tiny tot swim class, clinging to my neck? How is it even possible that he’s now a swim instructor himself?
Yes, fam life is easier now in many ways but it’s definitely not a hands-free thrill ride, this raising teens thing. I may be free from sippy cups and Sesame Street ringing in my ears, but now those taller-than-me children have got opinions all day long. I’m still exhausted, y’all.
Admittedly, I’m also a decade older and I [mostly] gave up caffeine. But that’s another story.
Despite their sometimes cheeky tendencies, I’m super grateful the kids still relish family meal time. They also still prefer homemade food (when they’re not bugging me for Taco Bell’s dozen taco deal, which I occasionally oblige. I know. Try not to judge.
All four hungry boys, counting Hubby, still adore Asian flavors and I’m not complaining one iota. Needless to say, this refreshingly flavorful Vietnamese Rice Salad is a hit at home and well beyond…
How to Make Vietnamese Style Rice Salad
The spotlight of this Vietnamese Style Rice Salad shines brightly on fresh herbs. Garden fresh is best, so you’re in luck if you’ve got basil, mint, or cilantro flourishing in your yard or windowsill. Local farmer’s markets also are lavishly overflowing with huge bunches of fresh herbs this time of year. The fresher and more in-season your herbs are, the more amazing your rice salad recipe will taste.
Stir the freshly chopped herbs with simple seasonings such as lime juice, kosher salt, and fish sauce. About the fish sauce. If you’re not familiar with its use, it may sound slightly daunting, but don’t be daunted.
Fish sauce is commonly used in Vietnamese and many other Asian dishes – so you’ve probably already enjoyed it without realizing. We use 1 or 2 teaspoons of fish sauce, which is all you’ll need, but definitely don’t skip it. It provides tons of flavor in a yummy way. Without the fish sauce, the dish will lack depth and flavor.
For the rice, we opt for fluffy jasmine rice. It’s subtly aromatic and fragrant, while maintaining the perfect long grain texture for this rice salad. You’ll need to cook and cool the rice to room temp prior to using it in the salad.
The combo of flavors in this finished Asian rice salad meld beautifully together. In fact, the whole thing tastes even better after sitting for a few hours. If you can, I highly recommend letting your rice salad rest at least a couple of hours prior to serving.
Why We Love Vietnamese Rice Salad
- You can make it hours ahead of time, so it’s chilled and ready to serve when you need it
- This Vietnamese Rice Salad keeps well, which makes it great for lunch
- It helps you eat all the green, healthy fresh herbs in one yummy bowl
- It’s gluten free and dairy free, making it awesome for almost everyone
- It tastes super refreshing, light, and lively all summer