Fresh mint, chives, and cilantro totally make these noodles!
The inspiration for my most recent noodle dish comes from the popular Pad Thai dish. Pad Thai is a great first introduction to Thai cuisine for those afraid of the heat from thai chilis. Usually a combination of rice noodles, lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, a little chili pepper, cilantro, peanuts, and shrimp or pork.
My recipe took a liberal interpretation of pad thai, using a stronger peanut flavored sauce that I had in the cabinet, adding in peanut butter, lime juice, garlic, and chili paste. In substitution of shrimp and pork, I sauteeed a bunch of carrots, squash, and mushrooms. I also used whole wheat spaghetti because that's what I had in my cabinet. The addition of fresh cilantro, mint, and chives at the end really made this dish. The bright herbs mellowed out the rich peanut sauce. I also made this noodle dish a lot spicier than a traditional pad thai. You can use less paste if you desire less heat.
Peanut noodles with veggies and fresh herbs.
Recipe for Spicy Peanut Noodles with Vegetables and Herbs
2 large or 4 small carrots, julienned
2 small yellow squash, julienned
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti (or rice noodles)
1/4 c peanut sauce (I used 365 Organic Peanut Sauce)
3 tbsp peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
2 tbsp chili paste (I would recommend using 1 tbsp for less heat or you can omit)
1 lime, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 handful cilantro, chopped
6 sprigs mint, chopped
6 stalks of chives, chopped
1/4 c peanuts, chopped
Heat two tablespoons oil in a large saucepan. Sautee carrots for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and squash and sautee 3-5 more minutes. While vegetables are cooking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add noodles, cook for 8 minutes. Add in peanut sauce, peanut butter, garlic and chili paste. Stir peanut butter mixture together until well mixed. Add lime juice. Toss vegetables in sauce. When noodles have cooked, al dente, remove from water. Drain and add to vegetable mixture. Toss well and top with herbs and peanuts.