Warm Peanut Thai Noodle Salad
Loaded with wholesome goodness, this Warm Peanut Thai Noodle Salad is an unpretentious dish that is crazy easy to make, yet so generously tasty, it’ll just as easily become a family favorite!
I can’t believe it’s already been 2 months since I landed in Costa Rica… where did time go, really? Apparently, even when life takes its time, it still goes crazy fast!
So far, this trip has been nothing short of amazing; my eyes got to witness more beauty than I ever thought possible, from sandy beaches to luscious jungles and amazing sunsets, not to mention the genuine smiles on people’s faces. But mostly, I’m learning to just go with the flow, to just live in the moment, to take life “as it is”. To say that it’s been easy every step of the way would be a lie, though. I’ve had – and still will have to – face many a challenge… cooking in a shared, minimalist kitchen being on of them!
As you can see, the kitchen here is pretty basic: there is no fancy equipment at my disposal; no food processors, blenders, or mandolins for that matter! Time to practice my knife skills! As for the camera gear that I took with me, it too is very basic, so that in itself is another challenge. But hey, at least I have everything I really need to cook decent meals and take decent pictures. And that, is a blessing in itself!
Oddly enough, the first recipe that I find myself comfortable enough to prepare and share with you in my current reality is not even Costa Rican. But hey, at least I got the inspiration for it while in Costa Rica! When I was in Playas Del Coco a couple of weeks ago, I stopped to eat at Toucanoos one night and had their Thai Peanut Noodle Salad. Muy Bueno! If you’re ever in that area, I strongly recommend that you pay them a visit and try it for yourself!
Or, you can always make your own by following my recipe… it’s not exactly the same, but it’s pretty darn close, if you ask me! And probably much closer to home, too!
When making those kinds of “fast-paced” dishes, you always want to have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking anything. So start by prepping/chopping all your ingredients and once that’s done, bring enough salted water to the boil to cook your noodles in.
Me, I was lucky enough to find those beautiful Asian style wheat noodles at a nearby market here – go figure, there are only 2 “supers” here, as they call them, and the biggest one of them happens to be Chinese – but feel free to use any kind of noodles you prefer. Yet Ca Mein would work really well, or ramen, or rice vermicelli, or even plain spaghetti.
While that water is heating up, work on making your peanut sauce. The easiest way to go about doing that is to start by putting all the necessary ingredients (see recipe card) in a glass measuring cup or jar, except for the lime juice, olive oil and cilantro, and mix that really well with a fork until a thick paste forms.
Then add the lime juice and mix again to incorporate it, and finally add the olive oil and cilantro and stir until everything is fully combined.
When the water starts to boil, place a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat, then throw your noodles in the water and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are just slightly undercooked.
While that’s happening, add the carrots, peppers and broccoli to the pan and cook them for about a minute or so, just to soften them up slightly and heat them through, then kill the heat.
Drain the noodles but reserve about 1/4 cup of their cooking liquid. Rinse the noodles well under lukewarm water and then add them to the pan, along with the cucumber, cabbage and green onions.
Mix the noodle water in with the peanut sauce and pour that into the pan as well…
…then throw in the chopped cilantro and peanuts. Looks good already, doesn’t it?
Give everything a gentle toss until all the ingredients are well combined, then allow the dish to rest for about 5 minutes to allow the noodles to soak up all that yummy tasty sauce.
Serve, garnished with a few slices of lime, additional chopped peanuts and cilantro, and hit with a splash of lime juice and few drops of hot sauce, if desired.
This salad is also delicious cold and leftovers will keep well in the fridge for a day or two.
Warm Peanut Thai Noodle Salad
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
- 6 broccoli florets, finely chopped
- 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and julienned
- 1-2 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted peanuts
- 1/2 lb Asian style wheat noodles, or other long noodle of your choice
For the Thai peanut sauce
- Lime wedges
- Chopped cilantro
- Chopped peanuts
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Few dashes hot sauce
- Start by prepping/chopping all your ingredients and then bring enough salted water to the boil to cook your noodles in.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing all the necessary ingredients in a glass measuring cup or jar, except for the lime juice, olive oil and cilantro. Mix well until a nice thick paste forms, then add the lime juice and mix to incorporate. Finally add the olive oil and cilantro and stir until fully combined. Set aside.
- When the water starts to boil, place a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat, then throw your noodles in the water and cook them for 2-3 minutes, or until just slightly undercooked.
- Meanwhile, add the carrots, peppers and broccoli to the pan and cook for about a minute, just to soften them slightly and heat them through. Kill the heat.
- Drain the noodles but reserve a 1/4 cup of their cooking liquid, and then rinse them well under lukewarm water.
- Add the drained noodles to the skillet, along with the cucumber, cabbage and green onions.
- Mix the noodle water in with the sauce and pour that in the pan as well, then throw in the chopped cilantro and peanuts.
- Toss delicately until well combined, allow to rest for about 5 minutes to allow the noodles to absorb the liquid (and the flavors!) and serve.
- Garnish with a few slices of lime, additional chopped peanuts and cilantro, and hit with a splash of lime juice and few drops of hot sauce, if desired.