Sesame and Cilantro Vermicelli Salad

If the heat of the summer is getting to you, this is a lovely spicy pasta salad for a hot day. One recent morning, on a day when the mercury eventually hit 105°F, I made this vermicelli pasta early in the morning and then let it marinate all morning in the fridge. By lunch time, it was a snap to quickly pull together.

Sesame Cilantro Vermicelli

Sesame and Cilantro Vermicelli Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 8


Honey Soy Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or corn oil
  • 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper or chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (less if using tamari which is more concentrated than soy sauce)


  • 8 ounces of vermicelli, thin spaghetti, or angel hair pasta
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced and chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds


1 Cook the pasta in a large saucepan in salted boiling water, according to directions on pasta package. Drain but do not rinse.

2 While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a microwave-safe dish, heat the vegetable oil, sesame oil, and red pepper, in the microwave on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the honey and soy sauce and mix well.

3 Combine the drained pasta with the dressing in a large bowl until the pasta is well coated. Cover and chill for several hours.

4 When ready to serve, mix in the cilantro, peanuts, green onions and bell pepper. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

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Recipe adapted from Wild Thyme and Other Temptations from the Junior League of Tucson.

Sesame Cilantro Vermicelli

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Showing 4 of 32 Comments

  • jonathan

    Looks good. Question: For the honey-soy dressing, you list grapeseed or corn oil. In the preparation, you write vegetable oil. Can you clarify? Also – beyond preserving their freshness, texture or individuality of their flavors, is there any reason the other ingredients can’t be mixed in with the pasta and dressing before chilling? Thanks, Elise…stay cool! It’ll be over 100 here in NYC this week – ugh.

  • g

    To jeff: Actually, both corn oil and grapeseed oil are vegetables oils. Vegetable oil is not an oil per se. Actually, even sunflower oil and olive oil are. You can find a definition here

    So when you see ‘vegetable oil’ just use the one you choosed.

  • Sibyl

    I just made this tonight and its delicious! I used canola oil – it was fine. The recipe made plenty for 4 side dishes, but it was so good we all had seconds and its gone. I also only chilled it for an hour with all ingrediants added. Easy, fast and so good! I bet the recipe could be doubled too.

  • Samantha

    I made this with rice noodles, and it definitely needs time to marinate, so that the noodles have time to soak up the dressing. Otherwise, it will be too oily. I also added cubed pan fried chicken breasts, yum! Thanks for the recipe!

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