A creamy peanut sauce with sesame, garlic, ginger and a bit of sweet, tang and heat plays the starring role in this flavor-packed Peanut Noodles and Vegetables dish.
It’s bursting with peanut and Asian flavors and loaded with healthy veggies of your choice. Use whatever you have in your fridge. The recipe is very forgiving. I use frozen shelled edamame (cooked in the microwave for a few minutes), chopped red pepper, shredded purple cabbage and carrots for some some crunchy texture and beautiful colors.
For extra healthiness, I bump up the ratio of vegetables to noodles compared to many of the other recipes out there. I do this whenever I can increase the nutrition factor without losing the taste factor. I also use a high fiber pasta for, ah, more nutrition. Altogether, this peanut noodle recipe calls for 4 cups chopped vegetables and 3 cups of cooked vermicelli (or other) noodles. Plus the peanut sauce of course – the main event!
Peanut Noodles makes a great side dish in only 20 minutes. And to save on clean up, I shake all the peanut sauce ingredients in a small lock-seal container instead of using a blender or processor. Try serving the dish with Cedar Planked Chicken or Roasted Salmon Stuffed With Herbs.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Noodles: I used vermicelli. Other options are linguini, fettuccini, spaghetti, udon noodles, soba noodles, rice noodles. For a lower calorie version, try spiralized zucchini or butternut squash instead of noodles.
- Vegetable: Cabbage, cooked edamame, blanched asparagus, peppers, carrots, fresh spinach or kale, seeded cucumbers, onion.
- Garnish: Toasted sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro.
- Keep tasting the peanut sauce until you achieve the balance of sweetness, spiciness, tartness, saltiness, peanut and sesame flavors you prefer.
- Add protein like chicken or tofu to create a main dish.
Make Ahead Peanut Noodles With Vegetables
- Peanut Noodles can definitely be made a few days ahead. In, fact, I find the flavors develop more fully. Keep in mind, however, that the noodles becomes stickier as they absorb the peanut sauce. I don’t mind that, but if you do, you can add a bit of water or oil (or, as noted above, add the sauce just before serving).
- I prefer bringing the noodles to room temperature or slightly warm them in the microwave for a minute. My husband eats them cold straight from the fridge.
- Some people suggest microwaving the peanut butter for 10-15 seconds for easier blending of the sauce. I find the shake method works fine without it as long as the water used is quite warm.
- If you prefer a thinner sauce, add some extra warm water.
- If you don’t like the noodles to become slightly sticky, add the sauce just before serving.
Shortcuts for Peanut Noodles
- Use packaged shredded cabbage and carrots.
- The fresh grated ginger adds fantastic taste, but in a pinch, use powdered ginger. The same goes for the garlic.
Peanut Noodles and Vegetables
- 6 oz vermicelli or other noodle (Note 1) 170 gm
- 4 cups in total, chopped or small vegetables (e.g. shredded carrots, shredded purple or green cabbage, red pepper, seeded cucumber, blanched asparagus, cooked edamame, chopped pepper)
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup warm water (or more to thin sauce out if needed)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger (1 inch) grated (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (or 1 tsp or more sriracha)
- 1 garlic clove, minced (1 tsp) if you like garlic, use 2 tsp
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- optional: 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds, 2 Tbsp chopped peanuts, chopped cilantro
- BOIL NOODLES: Boil in salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water, then drain again. Place in large bowl. Mix in 1/2 tsp sesame oil.
- MAKE PEANUT SAUCE: Place all peanut sauce ingredients in a sealed plastic container. Cover tightly (lock and seal). Shake hard until smooth. It should be thick, but pour-able. Add more water if needed. Alternatively, whisk ingredients together in a bowl. Tip: For easier blending, microwave peanut butter for 10 seconds to soften.
- COMBINE AND GARNISH: Add chopped vegetables to noodles in bowl. When ready to serve, pour over peanut sauce and mix everything together. Taste and adjust to you taste (more sweetness, salt, heat, etc). Sprinkle with garnishes. Serve.
This recipe was inspired by many others, but mostly by The New York Times and Epicurious.
Other recipes starring peanuts you might like:
Peanut Chicken Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry get the recipe
Dumpling Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce get the recipe