So, I saw this amazing recipe for Peanut Noodles with Chicken on Foodie Crush the other day (an amazing food blog, BTW) and got really inspired. All those cold crunchy vegetables sliced super thin, pasta (yay!), and a Thai peanut sauce together in one dish sounded and looked mouth-wateringly delicious. I knew I had to add it to week four of the September Challenge, so I made my own rendition–Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad.
I kept the vegetables simple to keep prices low and nixed the cucumber because I’m still a little on edge from my horrible cucumber experience a couple weeks ago. I had already decided on a chicken recipe for the week, so I made this one meat free. And lastly, I made my own peanut sauce, which is an amped up version of this very basic hoisin-peanut butter sauce that I made ages ago (I really wanted to use up the rest of that hoisin sauce that’s been in my fridge for ages). It’s quick, easy, and OMG good. Surprisingly filling, too!
I’ve had this Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad in my fridge for two days now and it still looks great. The peppers are still crunchy and the sauce is still coating everything nicely. It’s all turned a bit orange (thanks to the red bell peppers and carrots), but at least that lets me know that I’m getting my vitamins and minerals. ;D Oh, and I’ve eaten it both cold and heated in the microwave–it’s great both ways!
Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad
This easy Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad combines a creamy, sweet, and spicy sauce with fresh crunchy vegetables and cold pasta.
- 1 red bell pepper $1.50
- 1 yellow bell pepper $1.50
- 3 carrots $0.49
- 1 bunch green onions $0.75
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro $0.65
- 8 oz linguine $0.50
Grate the ginger using a small holed cheese grater into a bowl. Add the minced garlic, sriracha, hoisin sauce, peanut butter, and lime juice. Stir until everything is combined (it may be slightly clumpy), then add 1/3 cup hot water and stir until everything is smooth. Taste and add more lime juice if desired.*
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. When the water reaches a boil, break the pasta in half** then add it to the water. Boil the pasta for 7-10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander and allow it to cool.
While the pasta is boiling, prepare the fresh vegetables. Thinly slice the yellow and red bell peppers. Use a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler to make thin strips out of the carrots, or use a large holed cheese grater to grate them into smaller pieces. Thinly slice the green onions. Pull the cilantro leaves from the stems and either leave them whole or give them a rough chop. Place the prepared bell peppers, carrots, green onion, and cilantro into a large bowl.
Once the pasta is drained and completely cooled***, add it to the bowl with the vegetables. Pour the peanut sauce over top, then toss until everything is evenly coated. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
*If the sauce is too sweet for your tastes, you can add a small amount of soy sauce to help balance the flavors. Start with a 1/2 tsp and add more if needed.
**Breaking the pasta in half makes it easier to incorporate the vegetables into the pasta later.
***Make sure the pasta is completely cooled to prevent cooking or softening the vegetables. If needed, run cool water over the pasta, but then allow it to drain and dry until the pasta is tacky. Watery pasta will make the peanut sauce slide off.
Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad
Step by Step Photos
Make the sauce first, so the garlic and ginger have time to infuse throughout the mixture. Use a small holed cheese grater to grate about 1/2 inch of fresh ginger into a bowl. Add 1 clove of garlic (minced) and one tablespoon of sriracha. I had a knob of ginger left over from week three of the September Challenge that I had stored in the freezer. Once frozen, it grates very easily. For more info on using fresh ginger, check out my post on How to Cook with Ginger.
The two major components of this sauce are Hoisin Sauce and peanut butter. Add 1/3 cup of each to the bowl with the garlic, ginger, and sriracha. Stir until the ingredients are combined. It may look a little clumpy at this point. Hoisin is a great “base” sauce that you can add all sorts of flavors to to make it into a million different dishes. It’s like a quick base instead of having to use individual ingredients like brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and corn starch.
Finally, add about 1 Tbsp lime juice (approximately 1/2 of one lime) and 1/3 cup hot water. Stir until smooth. The hot water helps melt the peanut butter and hoisin together to make the sauce smooth. Taste the sauce and add more lime if you’d like. You can adjust the saltiness of the sauce by adding a little soy sauce, if needed (some hoisins are sweeter than others).
Once the sauce has been made, start the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, break the past in half then add it to the water. Breaking it in half makes it MUCH easier to stir the sliced vegetables in later (they won’t tend to congregate on the outside of the bowl while the pasta clumps in the center). Boil the pasta for 7-10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander and allow it to cool. If needed, you can run cool water over the pasta to cool it faster, but then you’ll want to let it sit to drain and dry up a bit until it’s tacky in texture. Wet pasta doesn’t allow sauce to stick very well.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vegetables. You’ll need one red and one yellow bell pepper, three carrots, one bunch of green onions, and about 1/2 bunch of cilantro.
Thinly slice both the red and yellow bell peppers. Use a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler to make long thin strips out of the carrots (I used a vegetable peeler). Or, if you prefer, you can even grate the carrot on a large holed cheese grater. Thinly slice the green onions and pull the cilantro leaves from the stems. You can roughly chop the cilantro, if desired, but I left mine whole for more visual texture.
Once the pasta is drained and cooled, add it to the bowl with the vegetables, then pour the peanut sauce over top.
Stir or toss until everything is well coated in the sauce. YUM <3
Enjoy the cold crunchy goodness of this Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad now or refrigerate it for later!