It's crazy how one little thing can set me off; this time it all started when I met a few friends for lunch this past week at Whole Foods. We each tried something different from their fabulous deli/salad bar selection. I chose a wonderful Thai salad with tofu, and that was all it took! The vibrant Asian flavors exploded with each delicious bite; and it's been a "Thai kick" here at The Café ever since.
I've been concocting all sort of dishes ever since my wonderful lunch, all with classic Thai flavors and characteristic Asian ingredients. This noodle salad is a favorite and one that we managed to snap some photos of.
I kept it fairly healthy with a high ratio of fresh veggies to pasta and tied it together with a flavorful peanut sauce that's deliciously savory, sweet and spicy, all at the same time. Next time I'll make extra sauce because it would also be wonderful drizzled on grilled chicken, pork or seafood.
The salad can be served warm, cold or at room temperature. I made a big batch and served it with grilled chicken (Thai-inspired, of course, recipe to come ............... I think you'll LOVE it!!). It keeps well and we've enjoyed eating the leftovers for lunches and quick dinners. I know I'll be making it again and again.
Oh, and one last thing; I don't about you, but sometimes I struggle with what to take to a friend or family in need of some love or a bit of encouragement. A delicious meal speaks volumes and is a wonderful love language. I have a feeling this Thai Noodle Salad would be a huge hit with young and old alike. Throw in a little rotisserie chicken if you think they'd miss the meat .............. it's so true what they say; friend in need is truly a friend indeed!
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¼ cup sweet chilli sauce
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
- For the noodles:
- 12 ounces angel hair pasta you could also use linguini, fettuccine, Asian rice noodles, Udon noodles etc.
- 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
- 3 cloves finely minced fresh garlic
- 10 baby carrots julienned (I cut each carrot in thirds, lengthwise then cut into thin strips, again lengthwise)
- 1 medium red onion thinly sliced, vertically
- 1 medium red bell pepper cut into bite-size thin strips
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper cut into bite-size thin strips
- 1 bunch green spring onions, sliced on a long diagonal
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup chopped salted peanuts
- fresh cilantro basil and mint leaves, for garnish
Combine peanut butter and soy sauce in a medium size glass jar. Microwave on high for fifteen seconds to soften peanut butter. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth. Add next 4 ingredients, cover jar and shake vigorously. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and stir till dissolved. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. (Angel hair pasta will take about 3-4 minutes. Thicker pastas will take longer.) Drain well.
Place about a half cup of peanut sauce in a large serving bowl. Add hot pasta and toss with two forks to combine. Set aside.
Heat a large sauté pan with the one tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking add garlic and ginger. Stir for about 10 seconds, then add all veggies except green onions. Stir continuously for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add green onions and stir one more time.
Add veggies, chopped fresh herbs and more peanut sauce (to taste) to bowl with noodles and toss again to combine ingredients. Taste and season with salt, if needed. Top with sesame seeds, peanuts and fresh herbs leaves. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.