This is one a lot of people have been waiting for. When we lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina we craved the bold flavors in Thai food that was readily available to us in London and Chicago. As I mentioned in my post “A Taste for Thai Food”, Argentines have a surprisingly bland palate and the local Thai restaurant’s food was watered down and just didn’t scratch the itch. I had successfully developed recipes for Thai Curry Pastes, so I set about trying to replicate the Thai Peanut Noodles on the menu at Big Bowl, our go to Pan-Asian restaurant in Chicago, and came up with this. When I served them to our Mah-Jongg group, they were an instant hit and I shared the recipe with the group. I’ve recently heard from several of those lovely ladies that they have made them many times over the years and they are always a hit.
THAI PEANUT NOODLES
- Food Processor
- 6 Cloves of Garlic
- ¼ Cup chopped fresh Ginger about 3” piece
- ½ Cup Tahini Paste
- 2/3 Cup Peanut Butter smooth or chunky
- ½ Cup Soy Sauce or Tamari for gluten free
- ½ Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
- ¼ Cup Sesame Oil
- ¼ Cup Honey
- 1 Fresno or Jalapeno chili seeded
- ½ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
- 1-2 tsp Hot Chili Oil
- 1 Red Bell Pepper julienned
- 1 Yellow Bell Pepper julienned
- ½ bunch of Scallions white and green parts, thinkly sliced on diagonal
- ½ Cup fresh Cilantro leaves only, washed and chopped
- 2 TBSP Thai Basil leaves chopped (optional)
- 1 pound Pad Thai Rice Noodles or traditional Spaghetti or Linguine
- Place garlic, ginger and chili pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse several times until finely minced, scraping down the sides.
- Add all remaining ingredients, except chili oil, and process until smooth. Taste for spice and add 1-2 tsp chili oil if you prefer a bit more heat.
- Prepare pasta according to package directions. (If using Thai rice noodles, make sure to stir frequently so that they don’t stick. Taste for doneness, as I find they may take longer than the package indicates.)
- While the pasta is cooking, pour 1 cup of the peanut sauce into the bottom of a large serving bowl.
- Drain noodles and immediately toss with the sauce in the bowl, adding a bit more sauce if needed to completely coat the noodles. You don’t need to drain too well, as a bit of hot pasta water helps to loosen the sauce.
- Allow the noodles to sit for 10 minutes or so to absorb the sauce, adding a bit more sauce if it seems tight. You don’t want the pasta drowning in sauce, but you want it well coated.
- Add the peppers, scallions and cilantro and toss well. Garnish with a bit more chopped cilantro, Thai Basil leaves and thinly sliced Fresno chilies (if desired).
- Peanut Sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Peanut Sauce is also great as a dipping sauce for grilled chicken, pork, beef or tuna Satay.
- Add a Tablespoon of lime juice & fish sauce to thin it out a bit and use as a marinade for tuna satay, which is common in Bali.
- The noodles are delicious hot, room temperature or cold the next day.
- Serve as a side dish or add a protein, such as grilled chicken, steak, shrimp or pan seared tuna for a complete dish.
- My Asian Marinade/Sauce recipe pairs really well with the noodles.