It’s funny how certain ingredients make you think of certain recipes. Like split peas. What will you do with them? Soup? Right? I love how creamy they get melted into a delicious soup. But try cooking them until they still have a bit of a bite to them, and toss them in your salads.
This Thai inspired noodle salad is the perfect home for these yellow split peas. This simple salad of brown rice noodles, yellow split peas, red bell peppers and spring onions are covered in a sweet and spicy sesame ginger dressing and tossed with cilantro and black sesame seeds!
So often we think that for a salad to be interesting, it has to be jacked up with a million different ingredients. But honestly, I prefer to highlight just a few. And that’s what I love about this Thai noodle salad. The tender, chewy rice noodles really absorb the luscious sesame dressing and the yellow split peas provide the perfect soft crunch. And since the noodles really absorb the dressing so well, this salad isn’t sitting in a bowl of oil. The red peppers, cilantro and spring onions also help to keep this salad light and fresh
Yellow split peas are really good for you. They are low in calories and high in protein and fiber. And while they taste great in soups, I think you’ll especially enjoy their mild nutty flavor in this simple, pretty, spring noodle salad.
I like to make a big batch. While this salad is perfect at room temperature or cold right out of the fridge, I really love to warm some leftovers in a frying pan. Nothing better than a warm bowl of noodles after a long day!
There are lots of things you can do with this salad. Here are some way to MAKE IT YOUR OWN:
- Feel free to replace the brown rice noodles with other types of noodles. Cellophane, soba, lo mein, ramen, udon noodles. All are good choices. You could even use spaghetti, fettucine or angel hair pasta.
- Replace the yellow split peas with green split peas, dal or lentils if you prefer.
- I used sweet bell peppers for this recipe. You can use a spicier pepper if that’s your thing. Or any chopped vegetable that you prefer like carrots.
- The dressing is quite versatile. Make it as sweet or spicy as you like. Add more or less sesame or ginger according to your preferences. Or go in a totally different direction and make a Spicy Peanut Dressing!
- FOR THE SALAD:
- 12 ounces of brown rice noodles
- 1½ cup of cooked yellow split peas
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 bunch of spring onions, sliced
- sesame seeds and cilantro for garnish
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- ¼ cup of rice vinegar
- ¼ cup of toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup of canola or vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons of tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons of honey
- 1 Tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of partially dried cilantro (I used Gourmet Garden)
- pinch or two of red pepper flakes according to your likes
- salt & pepper to taste
- Whisk all of the salad ingredients together and season to adjust to your liking.
- Place ½ cup of yellow split peas and a cup of water in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 35-40 minutes until the peas are soft, but still have a little bit of a bite to them. (If the water evaporates too quickly, add a little more, enough to cover the peas)
- Drain the peas and cool.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Take it off the heat and add the noodles, stirring to separate the noodles.
- Let the noodles sit for 5-6 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water.
- Let the noodles drain completely and gently pat them dry with some paper towels.
- Place the noodles in a large serving bowl.
- Pour half the dressing on the noodles and toss.
- Add the split peas, bell peppers, and onions and the remaining dressing.
- Toss to combine.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and sesame seeds.
- Serve with some lime wedges if desired.
All of my salads and dressings are just a starting place for your imagination. So feel free to add or swap ingredients and do what works for you!