For a quick noodle dish that is easy and delicious, try Thai peanut noodle stir fry. This is an easy one-dish meal that comes together in less than half an hour.
In this particular stir fry dish, I used carrots, onions, peppers, and broccoli. You can use any vegetables you like. Bok choy works nicely. Water chestnuts provide a satisfying crunch. You can also add mushrooms or a variety of other vegetables.
To make this dish even more quickly, use frozen vegetables. Thin rice noodles also cook rapidly, and are another option to speed up this dish. I used spaghetti noodles for the dish pictured here. Leftover pasta works well, too.
Coconut milk makes a creamy base for this sauce. The flavour comes from spices, which you can customize to taste, rice vinegar, and peanut butter. I added brown sugar for sweetness and to balance out the sour flavour in the rice vinegar. You can use other sweeteners such as dates or maple syrup, or leave out the sweetener altogether for a sharper sauce. For a mild sauce with no added sweetener, use a bit less rice vinegar and a dash of lime juice.
If you prefer a spicier sauce, increase the chili powder. For a mild sauce, leave it out. To make this into a noodle curry dish, add curry powder or other spices such as coriander and allspice, plus ginger and cilantro. You can also use curry powder instead of, or in addition to, chili powder.
Adjust the amount of sauce to suit your preferences. If you prefer just a light coating of sauce, the amounts in the recipe should be just right. If you like more sauce, just increase the amount of coconut milk slightly, adding more spices as needed, until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Peanut butter keeps the sauce quite thick. For a lower calorie option, use less peanut butter add a bit of corn starch (about a teaspoon) to the sauce prior to adding it to the pan. The sauce will thicken as it heats.
There are many ways to customize this dish to suit your preferences.
To add protein, crunch, and aesthetic appeal, top the Thai peanut noodle stir fry with peanuts.
This is a delicious stir fry that you can eat hot or cold. It is easy to transport and makes a nice pot luck dish.
Thai peanut noodle stir fry
Stir fry vegetables
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Red onion
- 1 Bell pepper
- 1 Broccoli
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 2/3 cup coconut milk
- 200 g Spaghetti, rice noodles, or other noodles of choice
Pre heat water/pan and prepare vegetables for cooking
- Fill a pot half way with water, cover with a lid, and heat at high heat until boiling. While the water is heating up, pre-heat a frying pan or wok by placing it on an element at medium heat with about a teaspoon of oil (olive oil or sesame oil work well).
- While the water and frying pan are heating up, wash and dice or chop the vegetables (you can use the vegetables listed here, or modify to taste). Fresh or frozen vegetables work well. They should be chopped to bite size pieces. Keep the vegetables in separate piles (one pile of onions, one pile of carrots, etc.).
Boil the noodles
- By the time the vegetables are ready to cook, the pan should be hot enough. Watch for the oil to start to smoke a bit - this means the pan is hot. When the water is boiling, add the noodles. This will probably occur part way through the stir frying process. Set a timer for the time indicated on the package (usually around 7 or 8 minutes), and then drain the noodles when they are finished cooking. I like to rinse the noodles to keep them from sticking together by running hot water over them while they are draining in a strainer. Keep them in a strainer and place it over the pot they were just cooked in to catch any remaining water. Set aside until the vegetables are finished cooking.
Stir fry the vegetables
- Stir fry the vegetables until tender-crisp. If using frozen vegetables, add them all to the pan and keep stirring until they are hot. This should only take about 5 minutes.If using fresh vegetables, it will take about 8 - 10 minutes to cook them. Start by adding the onions and carrots to the hot pan. Stir frequently (every 30 seconds or more) for about 3 minutes, and then add peppers. Keep stirring frequently for 3 minutes, and then add broccoli. Cover the pan with a lid for 2 minutes. During this 2 minutes, make the sauce (see below). At the end of the 2 minutes, the broccoli should be bright green.
Prepare the sauce
- Add all the sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until combined, or add the ingredients to a blender and blend for 5 seconds.Remove the lid of the frying pan and stir the vegetables thoroughly. Turn the heat down to simmer, and pour the sauce mixture over the vegetables. Stir the vegetables and sauce until the sauce is thick and bubbly.
- Add the noodles to the frying pan with the vegetables and sauce, and stir thoroughly until everything is mixed together and evenly covered with sauce.
- Top with peanuts and serve.