Oriental crab, vegetable & rice noodle salad

by Jenny Chandler

A wonderfully fresh, light salad with zippy ginger and chilli

Brown crab is in season right through the summer and makes a wonderfully fresh, light salad combined with zippy ginger and chilli. This recipe calls for just the white meat—you can use up the richer brown meat in a wholemeal sandwich or a fabulous pasta sauce. Since it contains shellfish this salad must be kept well chilled.


For the dressing:
2 tbsp caster sugar
3-4 tbsp rice or white wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
2cm fresh ginger, very finely diced
1-2 bird’s eye chillies, very finely diced
5cm cucumber section, very finely diced
2 spring onions, very finely sliced

For the salad:
100g fine rice vermicelli noodles
300g selection of crisp raw vegetables such as carrots, red peppers, mangetout and cucumber, cut
into fine needles
Large sprig coriander leaves
250g white crab meat
2 tbsp roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 lime, quartered


Begin by making the dressing. Heat up the sugar with the vinegar and water until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Allow to cool before adding the remaining dressing ingredients. Now taste and balance the salt, sugar, heat, acidity. This is a classic Thai dipping sauce and it should really zing.

Pour boiling water over the noodles and soak for 1-2 mins, until tender. Strain in a sieve and rinse in cold water. Stir the vegetables into the noodles and place them in a serving container.

Stir the coriander into the crab meat and sprinkle the crab and peanuts over the noodles. Add a slice of lime and then tip over the dressing once you are ready to serve.

ALTERNATIVES: Try this with cooked prawns, or even poached chicken if you’re not a shellfish fan. 

Recipe: Jenny Chandler
Images: John Holdship