Spicy Lime and Garlic Dressing for Rice Noodles, Thai Style | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Spicy Lime and Garlic Dressing for Rice Noodles, Thai Style

Lime and Garlic Sauce for Rice Noodles, Thai Style

This dressing tastes somewhat like a vinaigrette, but there is no oil. The dish is also low-fat requiring only light cooking. I’d say, chopping garlic, coriander and chilies are the ‘heaviest’ tasks. The rest is easy, just dissolve sugar, add lime juice and vinegar, mix in the aromatics. And the dressing will be ready to make the dull rice noodles spring to life.

I didn’t make a trip to any Thai grocery stores for the ingredients, but relied mostly on my stock. The bottle of fish sauce is from Vietnam, rice noodle is from Taiwan, sugar is from Malaysia, and happily I could easily get the Thai chilies and lime from a supermarket nearby. But I get excited how the dish is tasted like Thai.

The rice noodles with the dressing are lovely alongside with a few grilled scallops. If you have squids or shrimps, it’d would be equally good to have them cooked and served the same way as the scallops.

Noodles are seldom served as a starter in our meals, probably this is a different one.

Lime and Garlic Sauce for Rice Noodles, Thai Style

  • Dressing
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • juice from 2 limes
  • wedges of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 red chilies, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs coriander, stems only, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • yields 2 servings
  • Noodles and bean sprouts
  • ~80g dried rice noodles
  • ~50g mung bean sprouts
  • 4 grilled scallops
  • ~4 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt

Fish Sauce for Thai Style Rice Noodles


Bring 1 cup half cup of water and sugar to a boil, stir to dissolve. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice, vinegar, chilies, garlic, and add salt (or add water) to taste. Let cool. Divide.

Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil, add salt to dissolve. Put in rice noodles, cook them until al dente (about 1 to 2 minutes or according to instructions). Drain them. With a large bowl of drinkable cold water, briefly rinse the rice noodles (this will prevent the hot noodles turning too soft and from sticky together) . Toss and drain noodles in a colander. Pat dry the noodles if you want to skip the draining time, which takes about 10 minutes.

If you don’t like the raw smell of bean sprouts, just briefly scald them in the hot water in which the noodles were boiled.

Grill scallops. I marinade them with a pinch of salt, white pepper, sprinkling some oil on them and grilled them a couple of minutes

Divide noodles and bean sprouts – chill them before serving if desired; arrange them on dishes and serve with an equal amount of dressing (to pour over the noodles and sprouts and mix well) . Squeeze juice from wedges of limes over the noodles according to taste.

Lime and Garlic Sauce for Rice Noodles, Thai Style


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  1. 3rensho

    Looks awesome. Will definitely give it a try.

  2. Helena

    What a lovely, colourful dish ! It sounds flavourful too (I’ve already tried some of your noodle recipes and they all turned out successful : even my fiancรฉ, who doesn’t actually crave for asian food, liked it).
    I made your sticky rice rolls recently and I love this combination of ingredients, but unfortunately the wrapping was quite messy (I even wonder what’s your secret to wrap them so perfectly) ! I have to improve my skills, then I think I’ll have to do it again soon ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m also thinking of making chives omelette, these greens are so tasty…Thanks again for all these ideas of easy-to-make and mouthwatering dishes !

  3. TasteHongKong

    Thanks! And glad to know you enjoyed the sticky rice roll. Do I have any secrets for making it? I’m afraid not, perhaps practicing helps, and you may want to wet your spatula (if using it to flatten the rice) or wet your hands a bit to minimize the sticking.
    When you try my other recipes, hope they would keep you happily busy :), and hope you and your fiancรฉ will soon enjoy each of them. For this dressing, be prepared sourness will dominate the taste, you may want some mains and/or soup to accompany it. Enjoy!

  4. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    Love thai cuisine..the rice noodles looks and sounds so delightful with oil-free vinaigrette.

  5. kristy

    Oooo…my mouth already watering once I saw the dressing. I bet the noodles mixed is top delicious. Hope you’re having a great day, dear.

  6. Juliana

    This dressing sounds delicious, perfect for Summer…light and yet tasty.
    Hope you are having a great week and thanks for this delicious recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Lucy L

    omgosh, want to go home and make this right now! this is one of my favourite dressing and i use a very similar one to this to marinade chicken wings and grill. yum yum!

  8. mycookinghut

    This is making me hungry. Love the spicy lime garlic dressing..my kind of combo too!

  9. Stephanie

    Sounds so fresh and summery! I’m pinning it to my pinterest board so that I’ll remember to try it later ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. TasteHongKong

    Thanks for pinning.

  11. Mary Moh

    Maureen, I will eat a big plate of your noodles…..mmmm. I love that dressing….refreshing and delicious! Now I am hungry ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. tigerfish

    Such a refreshing dish! Light but full of flavors ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. lena

    the dressing sounds great, my mum also makes a kind of similar dipping sauce for her chicken..without the fish sauce ..

  14. Helena

    By the way, I made this recipe a several times these last weeks, as the weather turns better, and the more I eat it, the more I appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚ (with 50gr noodles, it yields a light meal for myself, considering that I usually take a little dessert then)
    I have to thank you then, what a great idea to associate noodles with this kind of dressing !

  15. TasteHongKong

    You are welcome and thanks for your kind feedback.