Spicy Thai peanut noodles, with or without chicken, is one of my favorite pasta dishes. I was introduced to cold spicy peanut noodles one hot summer in Boston and have kept it in my repertoire ever since. This is a very rich, spicy dish that has great texture and "mouth feel" and is as good hot as it is cold. The sweet and salty peanut flavor is perfectly accented by the tangy ginger and strong garlic. The honey adds a bit of sweetness typical of Thai food and the sliced cucumber adds a cool, crisp crunch that cuts the heat from the hot red curry paste. This one is truly addictive - and really good for you too! Loaded with high-quality protein and slow-burning carbs, these spicy noodles keep your energy up for hours!
This spicy Thai peanut noodle recipe is an easy and refreshing change to the usual tomato-based or cheese-based pasta sauces. This one is kid-friendly too! Sweet, salty and peanut-ty rich. Garnished with fun and finger-friendly strips of cool, crisp cucumber. Mmmm. What's not to love? Just adjust the spiciness to suit the level your family likes.
Personally, I like this dish with loads of hot red curry paste. The spiciness forces me to slow down and savor every delicious bite - meaning I am satisfied with just a small portion! Helps me stay on track with my healthy lifestyle while still enjoying pasta! For an added nutritional boost, try it with whole wheat or rice pasta. With the caramel-colored peanut sauce, no one will be able to see the difference!
My version uses ingredients that most American cooks already have on hand: garlic, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce and cucumber. The fresh ginger root can be found in the produce section of your local grocery store and the chile paste or hot red curry paste can usually be found in the Asian aisle. Buy just what you need for this recipe and give it a try. Once opened, the sauces keep well when stored correctly - just follow the directions on the jar. Ginger, like garlic, keeps well in a dry, dark cabinet for quite a while. Believe me, once you've tasted fresh ginger, you'll want to make it a regular staple. It's great for baking too! Here is a quick video on how to cut and store fresh ginger root.
The video below is a no-cook method and uses two additional Asian ingredients: fish sauce and coconut milk. They may seem foreign at first but, if you like the Thai flavor profile, they will quickly become staples in your pantry. Again, start with just enough for the recipe and experiment. Once opened, be sure to use the coconut milk immediately. Unsweetened is best.
Video: No-Cook Peanut Sauce
The video above shows a no-cook variation of the peanut sauce. Great as a dipping sauce too! Look for the Thai ingredients in the Asian food section of your grocery store.
RECIPE FROM VIDEO
2 fresh limes (enough for 3 tablespoons of juice)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1.5 cups of creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup of coconut milk
3 tablespoons of water
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
Combine all the above ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until smooth. Add chopped cilantro to garnish. Enjoy!