Vietnamese cuisine embodies the freshest of flavors, which is why we had to prepare and bring you one vibrant dish! It also focuses on five flavor elements, including sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, and salty.
Our Vietnamese quinoa salad combines all these elements and boasts of vibrant ingredients, including herbs and vegetables. (There is a reason why Vietnamese cuisine is considered one of the healthiest in the world!)
The dish also features the plant-based proteins quinoa and edamame to bring you a vegetarian side dish or satisfying entree. However, it can also harness other forms of protein with the ideas listed below.
The salad is delicious warm, at room temperature, and chilled. It may look too pretty to eat, but it is too delicious not to!
Find out how to whip up this great recipe to light up the dinner table!
Vietnamese Quinoa Salad Recipe
Yield: 6 servings
Nutrition per serving: 280 calories, 11 g fat, 11 g protein, 34 g total carb, 7 g fiber
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
• 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
• 2 cups water or low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth for additional flavor
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 Tbsp grapeseed oil
• 2 Tbsp fish sauce
• 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1 tsp honey
• 2 tsp chili flakes
• 2 yellow bell peppers, diced
• 1 cup carrots, diced
• 1 1/2 cup edamame, shelled
• 6 garlic cloves, minced
• 3 cups grape tomatoes, halved
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. To prepare quinoa, add the water or broth and the salt to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Turn the heat to its lowest setting and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the quinoa stand, covered, for another 5 minutes.
3. Remove the lid. With a fork, fluff the quinoa to separate it, and then serve. If liquid remains, return the pot to low heat and continue to cook until the quinoa absorbs the excess water. Add to a large serving bowl.
4. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing. Mix 1 Tbsp of the oil, fish sauce, lime juice, honey, and chili flakes in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
5. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat grapeseed oil and sauté yellow bell peppers, carrots, and edamame for about 5 minutes until slightly caramelized. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add garlic and tomatoes and immediately turn off the heat. Let the residual heat lightly cook the tomatoes and garlic. Keep stirring to thoroughly combine all ingredients for about 2 minutes.
7. Add veggies to the large bowl with quinoa. Add dressing, toss to combine thoroughly, and season add salt and pepper to taste.
Additional Vietnamese-Inspired Flavors
While the fresh flavors and textures are ample in this quinoa recipe, Vietnamese cuisine is vibrant in so many other ingredients.
Additional protein, fat, and fiber sources come together to truly round out the dish. Garnishes and seasonings only elevate the fresh flavors, too.
Protein & Fat Sources
The quinoa salad recipe packs protein as is it. But you can also add other animal meat and plant-based proteins as desired, including:
• Beef brisket
• Black beans
• Crab, shrimp, mussels, or clams
• Soft or hardboiled egg
• Rotisserie chicken
Complement with a healthy fat source, including nuts, seeds, and oils. Here are some delicious options:
• Coconut oil
• Macadamia nuts
• Olive oil
• Peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut oil
• Sesame oil and seeds
Veggies & Fruits
Vietnamese-inspired veggies and fruits offer color and crunch to meals. They likewise offer volume without packing on calories.
• Bok choy
• Green onion
• Red onion
Other Herbs, Spices & Seasonings
Despite already being packed with flavor, Vietnamese cuisine has one loaded spice cabinet. Feel free to also experiment with and add other seasonings, including:
• Chile powder
• Lemon juice
• Oyster sauce
• Red wine vinegar
• Sate (peanut, garlic, and chili paste)
Be as creative or simple as you wish. Regardless, the quinoa salad is one satisfying dish!