Meals Sides Vegetarian

Thai Peanut Noodles

thai noodle salad

My biannual Marieb family reunion is coming up in a couple weeks. It’s tradition for each sub-family unit to take a night throughout the week to cook dinner for everyone. Those of us who haven’t bred are considered one of those sub-families and so it’s my sister, Claudia, Tom and I who are responsible for making dinner one night. Feeding all 19 of us (which includes 6 teenage boys) is no small feat. If you don’t know us as a clan, us Mariebs tend to lean a bit to the overachiever side.    Last time, we did Mexican, and between the 4 different fresh salsas we made, the salsa verde, the guacamole, the beans (yes, soaked for 8 and boiled for 2), the rice, the meats, the grilled veggies, and more, we were in the kitchen for well over 5 hours. Nope, if it wasn’t from scratch, it didn’t cut it. This year, I was leaning toward making it easier and lounging on the beach more. But, I’m not quite sure that’s going to happen. The theme for our dinner this year is southeast Asian and there has already been talk of dumplings, soups, salads, etc. etc.

I’ve made many versions of this noodle dish over the years. It can be pared down to its essentials (the sauce, noodles, and a few veggies) and be a delicious and quick car-camping meal. You can beef it up with tofu or chicken, you can use different veggies. It’s flexible, it’s easy, it’s dependable, and if we decide to make it, it just might buy me some more time in the ocean.

Thai Peanut Noodles
Serves 4
For the peanut sauce
  1. 1/4 cup peanut butter
  2. 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  3. 1/4 cup lime juice
  4. 3 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
For the noodles
  1. 12 ounces Asian rice noodles (in a pinch you can also use angel hair pasta, linguini, or fettuccine)
  2. 1 Tbs. sesame or canola oil
  3. 1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger
  4. 3 cloves finely minced fresh garlic
  5. 10 baby carrots, julienned
  6. 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced, vertically
  7. 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into bite-size thin strips
  8. 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-size thin strips
  9. 1 bunch green (spring) onions, sliced on a long diagonal
  10. ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  11. ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  12. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  13. ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
  14. 1 cup chopped salted peanuts
  1. 1. Put pot of water on to cook pasta. And when it boils, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.
  2. 2. While you're waiting on the pasta, combine peanut butter and soy sauce in a medium size glass jar. Microwave on high for fifteen seconds to soften peanut butter. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth. Add next 4 ingredients, cover jar and shake vigorously.
  3. 3. Place about a half cup of peanut sauce in a large serving bowl. Add hot pasta and toss with two forks to combine. Set aside.
  4. 4. Heat a large sauté pan with the one tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking add garlic and ginger. Stir for about 10 seconds, then add all veggies except green onions. Stir continuously for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add green onions and stir one more time.
  5. 5. Add veggies, chopped fresh herbs and more peanut sauce (to taste) to bowl with noodles and toss again to combine ingredients. Taste and season with salt, if needed. Top with sesame seeds, and peanuts. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.
Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine