Rice noodle salad

Rice noodle salad

Leanne Kitchen

This vibrant, zesty salad from Malaysia is known locally as kerabu bee hoon, which loosely means spicy, sweet and sour salad with rice vermicelli – at least, that’s our interpretation! The dish is eaten throughout the day from breakfast to dinner, as well as being a go-to snack in between. It epitomises the beautiful flavours of Southeast Asia – lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, coconut and chilli – all easily slapped together with rice vermicelli to soak up all the goodness.


Quantity Ingredient
80g dried shrimp
1 1/2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh galangal
50g Grated fresh coconut
200g dried rice vermicelli
500g cooked medium king or tiger prawns, shelled, deveined and tails left intact
6 red asian shallots, very thinly sliced
or 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
large handful mint leaves, torn, to serve
coriander leaves, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon belacan (malaysian shrimp paste)
5 red bird’s eye chillies, chopped
6 medium red chillies, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
100ml lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce


  1. For the dressing, wrap the belacan in foil. Heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, add the wrapped belacan then dry-fry for 2 minutes on each side, or until fragrant. Cool and unwrap. Transfer to a food processor with the chillies and garlic and process until a smooth paste forms. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle. Combine in a small bowl with the remaining dressing ingredients and 2 tablespoons water and stir to combine well until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Finely grind the dried shrimp in an electric spice grinder until a coarse powder forms – process in batches if necessary. Transfer to a frying pan over medium–low heat, add the galangal and coconut and dry-fry for 5–6 minutes or until fragrant and the coconut is light golden.
  3. Put the rice vermicelli in a bowl, pour over cold water to cover then stand for 15 minutes or until softened. Drain well. Cook the noodles in boiling water for 2 minutes or until softened, or cook according to the packet instructions.
  4. In a large bowl combine the prawns with the coconut mixture, noodles, shallots and the dressing and toss to mix well. Transfer to bowls or plates, scatter over the mint and coriander and serve.
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