Sweet, Salty, Savory and Delicious - Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles Satisfy!
Spicy Thai peanut noodles is a very rich, very spicy pasta recipe that has great texture and "mouth feel" and is as good cold as it is hot. This one is truly addictive - and really good for you too! Loaded with high-quality protein and slow-burning carbs, these spicy noodles keep your energy up for hours - helping you stick with your healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise goals! The sweet and salty peanut flavor is perfectly accented by the tangy ginger and strong garlic. The honey adds a bit of sweetness typical of Thai food and the sliced cucumber adds a cool, crisp crunch that cuts the heat from the hot chile paste.
With a Dish This Rich, a Small Portion is Plenty!
The Secret Ingredient to Your Healthy Diet Success...
While this is a rich dish, it has a secret ingredient built in that actually prevents you from over indulging...the hot chile paste. The heat from the chile paste makes it nearly impossible to eat this dish too fast. As a result, you are forced to slow down and savor every delectable bite. This slow pace allows your stomach the time it needs to signal to your brain that you are full - and you end up eating less! To slow the meal down even further, and add a bit of fun to dinner, use chopsticks.
Ingredients: Serves 4 for dinner, 6 for lunch, 8 as a side or snack
- 1 lb pasta (fettuccini, linguini fini or angel hair)
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 3 tbs FRESH ginger, minced
- 4-6 cloves FRESH garlic, minced
- 6 tbs low-sodium soy sauce
- 6 tbs crunchy peanut butter (natural, no sugar added)
- 3 tbs honey (less if using regular peanut butter)
- 2-4 tsp hot chile paste or hot red curry paste, to taste
- 1 tbs fish sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, dry roasted, unsalted (more if using smooth peanut butter)
- 1/4 cup julienned cucumbers
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions (scallions) for garnish
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds (toasted or plain)
Fresh Ginger Makes All the Difference
Fresh ginger, also called ginger root, adds an amazing taste to this recipe. Spicy, savory and piquant, fresh ginger enlivens a wide variety of dishes from cakes to soups to noodles. Once you've tasted fresh ginger, you'll never want to use the dried stuff again. You'll find fresh ginger in the produce section of the grocery store. Pick up a small piece and try it out. Cut off just what you need for the recipe. It keeps well in a cool, dark cabinet (like garlic) or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Watch the helpful video below to see how to easily peel and chop fresh ginger.
- Bring a large pot of cold water to a rolling boil.
- While the pasta water is heating, mince the garlic and ginger. Chop the peanuts and slice the scallions into 1/4 inch pieces. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry saucepan pan on medium high heat for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned. Julienne the cucumber and set aside.
- Combine the garlic, ginger, chicken broth, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey and chili paste in a medium saucepan and heat through. Stir until it is fully blended and smooth. It will turn a lovely, caramel brown color when done. Use a splash of water to thin it if the sauce is too thick, adding a little at a time and stirring well to combine. If too thin, add more peanut butter.
- When the water is at a rolling boil, add a generous amount of salt (1-2 tablespoons) and drop in the pasta. Cook according to directions until al dente (still firm), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Carefully reserve 1/2 cup or so of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and return it to the hot pot, off the heat. Add the peanut sauce, using a spatula to scrape up every drop. (alternately, add the pasta to the saucepan and toss to coat.)
- Stir to combine and heat through. Add a splash or two of the reserved pasta water to smooth out the sauce. The starch from the pasta water will help the sauce become satiny smooth. Garnish with chopped peanuts, scallions and sesame seeds. Add a handful of julienned cucumbers on the side and serve immediately.
Notes and Substitutions
I prefer to use natural, unsalted crunchy peanut butter with no added sugar as well as low-sodium chicken stock (or homemade) and low-sodium soy sauce so I can control the salt and sugar content of the meal. If using creamy peanut butter, add an extra 1/4 cup of the chopped peanuts to the sauce for crunch. If using regular peanut butter, you may want to skip or reduce the amount of honey in the recipe. For an added protein boost, add diced chicken or cooked shrimp to the dish. Fabulous as a cold noodle dish as well!
How to Peel and Chop Fresh Ginger
As seen in the video...
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Ceramic Ginger Grater...from the Video
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