Monday, March 9, 2015

Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

A tangle of rice noodles and crunchy veggies tossed with a spicy peanut dressing. This is a light, refreshing salad  that would go well with grilled chicken, shrimp, or pork skewers.

I really enjoy Thai food - it is very fresh and vibrant, often spicy, perfectly balanced flavors and textures. It is the kind of food that just makes you feel good.

Research has proven that eating spicy foods can make you happy.  When you eat capsaicin (this is what makes chili peppers spicy), your brain thinks that you are in pain, which causes your body to release "feel good" endorphins. Hmmm.  Interesting.

Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing


1/2 lb. rice stick noodles
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
4 oz.  snow peas, string removed, julienned
4 oz. cucumber, julienned
3 green onions, sliced,
1 cup thinly shredded cabbage, red or green
4 oz. dry roasted peanuts, chopped

Peanut Dressing:

6 Tbsp. all natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
juice and zest of 1 lime
2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
2 tsp. pure sesame oil
2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce, or to taste
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
small handful fresh cilantro
1/4 cup of peanut oil
about 1/4 cup water or chicken stock for thinning, if needed

Pulse all dressing ingredients in a food processor until blended. Add 1/4 cup of water or stock to thin dressing if needed.

Prepare rice stick noodles according to package direction. Rinse and drain noodles under cold water to stop cooking. With a pair of scissors cut up noodles into shorter strands. In a large bowl add noodles, carrots, snow peas, green onions, cucumber, cabbage, and peanuts. Toss with Peanut Dressing.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Garnish with chopped peanuts, thinly sliced green onion, and torn cilantro.

Tags: Asian, Thai, Noodles, Spicy, Salad