6 simple Asian-inspired salads for summer

Tasty, light and packed with veg and protein

Salads don't have to be boring as the choices on this list demonstrate. Whether you just want a lighter option for dinner or are fed up of sandwiches for lunch, these salads are packed full of flavour, protein, veg and nutrients. You won't be missing your cheese and pickle sarnies, that's for sure!

We've partnered with Olive Magazine (also published by Immediate Media) to bring you the very best recipes for cyclists. All the recipes are easy to follow and take you through step-by-step how to create everything from homemade nutrition products to tasty and hearty post-ride meals.

Vietnamese steak salad

Low calories, high protein and gluten free
Low calories, high protein and gluten free

If you're on a gluten-free diet but don't want to scrimp on flavour or protein, then this fresh-yet-spicy salad will be right up your street. 

It combines meaty marinated steak seared to perfection on a bed of rice noodles, tossed in a delicious lime, garlic, chilli and fish-sauce dressing with plenty of fresh coriander, mint and basil to add a fresh counterpoint to the richness of the meat. 

It's perfect for a speedy midweek supper, but also works well as a packed lunch — guaranteed to make your colleagues envious!

Cauliflower Thai salad

A tasty veggie or vegan salad
A tasty veggie or vegan salad

Larb salads are known for their fresh and piquant flavour, but usually use pork or chicken. This version is perfect for veggies as the meat is swapped for crumbled cauliflower. Pan-friend lightly in lemongrass, it picks up a delicious flavour. 

The salad is served in lettuce leaves with a garlic, chilli and lime dressing, and you can even turn this from veggie to vegan by swapping out the fish sauce for soy sauce. 

Make up a box of this in advance and you can portion it out for packed lunches and picnics, and have it ready for those post-ride munchies. 

Rainbow veg noodle salad

Boost your veg intake with this colourful salad
Boost your veg intake with this colourful salad

Coming in at under 300 calories per portion, this salad manages to pack in the veggies getting you on your way to your five-a-day and tastes satisfying to boot. 

The secret is in the peanut butter dressing. Mixed with rice wine vinegar and lime juice, which cut through the richness of the nut butter, it provides a satisfying heartiness to a dish that offers up colour in the form of cabbage, pepper, carrot, onion and peas. 

Summer sashimi salad

Salmon has plenty of useful fish oils that the body uses for repair
Salmon has plenty of useful fish oils that the body uses for repair

Sashimi is a way of serving fresh raw fish, finely sliced and either eaten as it is, or in this case added to a tasty salad.

This recipe sees the salmon served on a bed of diced avocado, watermelon and cucumber with a fresh dressing of rice wine vinegar, soy, sugar and smoky sesame oil. 

If you aren't comfortable with preparing sashimi yourself, you can always swap it for smoked salmon, and you'll still get those beneficial fish oils.

Want something more substantial? Add a layer of sushi rice under the salad, then mix it all together before eating. 

Asian noodle and pork salad with mint and peanuts

This tasty noodle salad is almost too substantial to be called a salad
This tasty noodle salad is almost too substantial to be called a salad

You know those hot, lazy evenings when you long to order takeaway but it's 1) too hot for that and 2) you're trying to be good? This is just the dish for those occasions. 

We almost hesitate to call this a salad, for while it does have fresh mint, basil, beans and onions in it, the noodle base elevates it up a notch for the cyclist with an appetite. 

The pork is cooked in sesame oil and the pepper dressed in fish sauce, and once cool they are tossed in with rice noodles, the vegetables and a fresh and gingery dressing. Crushed peanuts add the final touch and a wonderful crunch to the dish. 

Thai-style shredded chicken salad

The dressing combines a chilli kick with tart lime juice and fish sauce
The dressing combines a chilli kick with tart lime juice and fish sauce

More than just a salad, this protein-rich dish is ready in under 15 minutes, so it's ideal if you want to whip it up of an evening, or fancy preparing it for a packed lunch the next day. 

The chicken is tossed with finely sliced cabbage, cucumber, carrot, basil and mint, then dressed in a lime, ginger, chilli and garlic dressing. 

More recipes

Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

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