For years I’ve been searching for an Asian inspired noodle recipe with a salty/sweet peanut sauce and, finally, one from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) appeared on Food Network . I tried her version first and then adjusted the ingredients according to my own tastes and preferences. I’ve made this dish several times now and each time someone has asked me for the recipe, which is my own personal gauge of a successful conversion, so I figured it was time to share.
Below is a list of the ingredients I use to make the recipe gluten-free, the first of which is brown rice spaghetti pasta. While I am a fan of rice pasta, this is the first recipe I’ve tried where I would say the brown rice spaghetti is a natural fit. If you aren’t gluten free and would like to save some cash, stick with the traditional angel hair pasta and swap the tamari for straight soy.
Spicy and Crunchy Peanut Noodles
Time: 25-30 minutes
1 lb brown rice spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lite rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup gluten free tamari
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup organic smooth peanut butter (I like Trader Joe’s because it pours from the jar which makes it great for sauce)
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded and sliced in thin strips
1/2 pound fresh snow peas, cut on an angle in half
4 scallions, cut on an angle
3 tbsp fresh cilantro
2 tbsp unsalted peanuts, chopped
1/2 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
Start by dropping the pasta into salted boiling water and follow the instructions to cook to al denté. While the pasta cooks, whisk together the oil, vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, zest, peanut butter and seeds. In a large mixing bowl, toss red pepper, peas, 2/3’s scallions and shrimp. Add cooked pasta and cover with sauce (use half or all of sauce depending on personal taste). Top with remaining scallions, cilantro and peanuts to serve.
A few things to note:
This recipe makes a lot of sauce. If using the full pound of spaghetti, you can definitely use all of the sauce and there will be some left at the bottom of the bowl. If you like less sauce, jar the remainder and use it as a dip for spring rolls, chicken satay or grilled shrimp. Also, this dish is great served warm, cold or at room temperature. Leftovers will work for a day or so but the longer the noodles sit, the more they will break down because of the acid in the sauce. And finally, for an even bigger punch of flavor – serve lime wedges on the side to squeeze over the noodle bowls.