Pho King Salad

Makes 4–5 Servings

When you’re craving cold noodles but want the bold, distinctive flavors of Vietnamese pho, don’t just settle for any limp tangle of boring rice threads; make a pho king salad. True to its name, this dish rules all other noodle salads like a boss and makes no excuses for its audacious swagger. Spike it with sriracha if you want to bring the heat without raising the temperature in the kitchen, or keep it more tame to enjoy the savory essence of hoisin and five-spice mingling amongst a forest of fresh vegetables. Perfect for those hot days when a bubbling cauldron of soup fails to appeal, there’s no long-simmered stock that needs tending, so you can chill out at the dinner table instead of slaving over a hot stove.


Pho-Flavored Dressing:

  • 60ml (¼ Cup) Peanut or Avocado Oil 
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Sugar or Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Finely Minced
  • ¾ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Five-Spice Powder

Rice Noodle Salad:

  • 190g (1 1/4 cups)Thin Rice Noodles
  • 35g (¹∕3 Cup) Sliced Fresh or Dried and Rehydrated Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 75g (½ Cup) Thinly Sliced Red Onion
  • 75g (½ Cup) Shredded Carrots
  • 230g Fried or Baked Tofu, Thinly Sliced
  • 150g (1½ Cups) Mung Bean or Soybean Sprouts
  • 75g (1½ Cups) Fresh Cilantro
  • 10g (½ Cup) Thai or Italian Basil
  • Sriracha, to Taste (Optional)


  1. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl, stirring until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  2. For the salad itself, break or cut the noodles in half because they tend to be very long. They cook almost instantly, so the key is to simply soften them rather than boil them to death. Drop them into a large pot of simmering water, use tongs to submerge and lightly stir, and cook for no more than 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and immediately rinse under cold water to stop them from becoming overcooked and mushy. They should be tender but al dente, like good angel-hair pasta. Let the noodles drain very well so as not to water down the dressing.
  3. Transfer the drained noodles into a large bowl. Add in all of the vegetables, tofu, sprouts, herbs, and dressing, and toss everything together. It can be a bit tricky to combine since the noodles will want to stick together at first, so don’t be afraid to get in there with your hands to break up the party. Once all the goodies are thoroughly distributed throughout the mixture, add sriracha to taste, and enjoy.
  4. Veg out to add more nutrition, fresh flavors, and heartier servings. Double up on the carrots and incorporate 1 cup julienned or thinly sliced seedless cucumbers, 1½ cups shredded cabbage, and 1 cup thinly sliced red bell peppers to satisfy serious veggie lovers.

Per 100g
Calories: 115, Carbohydrates: 7.9g, Sugars: 2.3g, Fat: 7.3g, Saturates: 5.0g, Protein: 3.9g, Salt: 0.11g

Recipe and images courtesy of Real Food, Real Fast by Hannah Kaminsky

Taken from May 2018 (Issue 38) Vegan Life Magazine

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