Vietnamese Salad Cups

Some of you might be quite surprised by my day job which has nothing whatsoever to do with gardening or food other than I work for one of the UK’s largest supermarkets. One of the perks of my job however is to get to see the Christmas food that is going to hit the shelves before it comes out.

In our food cascade this year the trend is going to be vegetarian and vegan party and Christmas food. This wasn’t much of a surprise but what was a surprise was that the food developers were having difficulty developing plant based party food that didn’t look generally brown. I suppose that when canapés are meat or cheese based we expect them to be brown, but are expecting a little more from a plant based canapé.

Therefore I thought I’d have a bit of fun this advent and produce a different plant based, colourful canapé every day especially for the party season!

First up is this Vietnamese salad cup recipe. It’s always useful to have some cold canapé if you are having a party and only have limited oven space. These little cups can be made a little in advance but if it is more than an hour the lime juice will start to bleach the colours so prep all the individual ingredients and then dress just before service.


Serves: 5/6 as an starter, or 20 canapé

Five a day: 2

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 0



  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 inch grated ginger
  • 1 red thai / birdeye chillies (1 large mild chilli if you prefer less heat), finely chopped


  • 100g dried glass/bean thread noodles
  • 1/2 mango (stone and skin removed)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 100g reddish
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 green thai/birdeye chillies (1 large mild chilli if you prefer less heat)
  • 15g each of Thai basil, Vietnamese Mint and coriander. UK basil and mint are good substitutes.

To serve

  • 2 small baby gem lettuce
  • 3 tbs un flavoured peanuts


Firstly make your dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Taste to ensure that it has the fine balance of sweet, salt, sour and heat adding more of the required element if needed.
Lightly chop the nuts and toast in a pan until lightly browned.
Break the baby gem lettuce in to individual leaves and arrange on your platter
Soak the noodles in boiling water for a few minutes, meanwhile finely shred or grate your vegetables and herbs.  Place in a large bowl.  Drain the noodles, rinse in cold water and when drained add to the bowl along with the dressing.
Toss the salad until well combined
Add 1 tbsp of the mix in to each baby gem leaf. Sprinkle with the toasted peanuts.
Serve immediately.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. chef mimi says:

    These are fabulous, and I love all Asian cuisines because they are free of cheese, for one. But cheese is the reason I could never go vegan. I personally easily go without meat, but eggs, dairy, and cheese…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tabula Rasa says:

      Me too. I love cheese

      Liked by 1 person

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