When In Doubt, Throw Some Peanut Sauce On It

The hit of the Friday night Blathering dinner was easily the Thai Noodle Salad, and here is the promised recipe.  Please forgive my vagueness when it comes to amounts and tell yourself that it means that this is easy peasy and anyone can do it!

Start with a big bowl.  No, bigger.  This makes A LOT of salad.

Take a head of whatever kind of lettuce you want, and slice it crosswise in thin strips.  I like to use napa cabbage, but you can use romaine or even green and red cabbage. Whatever floats your boat.

Then add your other veggies – I always use cucumbers, peeled and then with the insides scooped out, then sliced into half moons.  Also good are red/yellow/orange pepper strips, shredded carrots, bean sprouts, thinly sliced radishes, etc.

Next slice up about a half a red onion into thin half moons and throw that in.

At this step, you can also add a protein if you want. I have used sauteed tofu, grilled chicken, and grilled pork, but if you want to make it vegan you can leave the meat out and it will still be delicious.

Then add some sliced basil or mint.  I don’t usually use both, I just alternate with whatever one I have around.  You want a fair amount of it though – several springs of mint, a biggish handful of basil.  Chop that up and throw it in there.

Then add cooked rice noodles.  You can also use cooked spaghetti noodles if you want or even cooked ramen noodles, but then it won’t be gluten free.  Whatever you have around is fine though.  Dump those in there.

Then you need to make your peanut sauce.  This is sort of subjective, but get a medium sized bowl and add a combination of peanut butter, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, honey or brown sugar, lime juice, garlic powder, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and black pepper.  You want to use the most amount of the peanut butter, but play around with adding small amounts of the other ingredients until you get the flavor you like.  I mix this up with a wire whisk because otherwise it can be sort of hard to get it to come together.  Then add water until it’s the consistency that you want – it will start out pretty thick, which is good for a dipping sauce, but not as easy to use a dressing, which is what you’re going for.

When you get your sauce how you want it, dump it over your salad, mix everything together, and top the whole business with ground up peanuts and sliced scallions (green onions).  And then dig in!

*Don’t be afraid to swap things out.  Don’t have rice vinegar? Use apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, whatever.  Play around with the flavors.

*If you’re making the salad ahead of time, keep the dressing and the peanut/scallion topping separate and only mix it right before you serve it.  But make sure to toss the salad even without the dressing so the noodles don’t clump together in the fridge.

*Peanut sauce really does make everything better, if not hideously more fattening.  It’s awesome on chicken satay, grilled tofu, brown rice, dumplings, etc.


10 Responses

  1. So I went grocery shopping today and bought the ingredients I thought I’d need and I hit it on the head! I even got cabbage because I love cabbage. I’m so making this tonight after I eat no lunch so I can save room. Thank you for posting this!

  2. This looks delish and the chef of the house (the huz) told me just yesterday my assignment is to figure out something to make with the fresh basil we have kicking around. And BAM! this shows up in my reader. Thanks! Am forwarding this to him toute suite.

  3. Mmmmmm. Guess what’s for dinner chez nous?

  4. I don’t even want to tell you about the sorts of fantasies I’ve had regarding this salad. I’ve talked about it so frequently that Andrew asked if I could make a tub full and just swim in it so I can SHUT UP about the salad.

    Making it ASAP.

  5. Mmm. This me reminds me of my fave sesame noodles. I will have to try them with a bunch of veggies added.

  6. That sounds so delicious. I LOVE peanut sauce on just about anything, so I’m sure I will make this at some point. Also, love the new masthead.

  7. YES! Thank you! Even after my nightmare-ish trip to the grocery store last night, we will be going back again tonight to buy all these ingredients. Thank you again, it was so delicious!

  8. YUM! This was my favorite thing from dinner. Can’t wait to make it now. Thank you.

  9. I made a generic version of this last night in a effort to recreate it and it was kind of a fail. Yours was AWESOME! I totally did not put basil or cucumbers and left out sesame oil.

    I am so trying tjhis again tonight with the updated recipe. Delish!

  10. Just copied this recipe for our upcoming family girls weekend. Sounds sooo good!

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