Authentic Thai Peanut Noodles are made with real peanuts instead of peanut butter, and you'll taste the difference. This dish offers a flavorful, nutty sauce combined with the chewy-sticky texture of stir-fried rice noodles. Add your choice of chicken or tofu, or make them vegetarian or vegan just with the peanut sauce.
The key to this dish is not to over-soften the noodles at the beginning - they need to remain firm in order to reach their chewy perfection later in the frying pan or wok. This dish is naturally gluten-free (see below for a link to vegetarian/vegan version).
- 8-12 oz. rice noodles (linguini-width, enough for 2-4 people)
- Optional: 1 to 1.5 cups cubed firm tofu (or 2 chicken thighs, cut into small pieces)
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 green onions (sliced)
- 2-3 cups bean sprouts
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1-3 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (for stir-frying)
- Peanut Stir-Fry Sauce:
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1 tsp. tamarind paste
- 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts (unsalted)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce (use wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
- 3-4 tbsp. brown sugar (to taste)
- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
For Vegetarian/Vegan Peanut Noodles, see my: Thai Peanut Noodles (Vegan/Gluten-free).
- Place cubed tofu or chicken (if using) in a bowl together with 3 tablespoons soy sauce. Stir to combine and set aside to marinate while you prepare other ingredients.
- Stir tamarind paste into the hot water until dissolved. Pour into your food processor or blender. Add all other sauce ingredients and pulse. Taste-test for sweetness and spice, adding more sugar or chili/cayenne if desired. Set aside.
- Boil rice noodles to soften. Note: you still want them firm and too 'crunchy' to eat (firmer than 'al dente). Drain and rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons oil and swirl around, then add the tofu or chicken. Stir fry until lightly browned and cooked. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl. Set aside.
- Return wok/pan to heat and add 2 to 3 tablespoons more oil. Now add the noodles (you'll hear them sizzle as they hit the hot oil). Using two utensils and a lifting-turning motion, stir-fry 1 minute.
- Add 1/3 to 1/2 of the peanut stir-fry sauce, plus the fried tofu or chicken (if using). Stir-fry until sauce is distributed throughout the noodles.
- Add the bean sprouts plus a little more of the sauce. Stir-fry and taste-test as you go, adding more sauce until desired taste is achieved. Stir-fry until noodles are soft but still pleasantly chewy. Add more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough.
- Top with a drizzle of sesame oil followed by a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds. Sprinkle over green onion and fresh basil. Enjoy!
If You Have Leftover Peanut Sauce: Refrigerate any leftover peanut sauce in a covered container up to 2 weeks; freeze thereafter. Note that peanut sauce will thicken as it sits, but you can easily thin it out again. If you wish to keep it as a stir-fry sauce, just add water to thin it. To make it into a delicious dip, add up to 1/4 cup coconut milk. Peanut dip is wonderful served with chicken satay, or fresh rolls, or even as a dressing with a raw vegetable salad.
It also makes a terrific marinade for grilled chicken or tofu.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||37 g|
|Saturated Fat||5 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||17 g|
|Dietary Fiber||10 g|