Thai Inspired Noodles with Peanut Sauce

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on November 10, 2011

We’ve all had those days: you leave the house at 6:30am, have a crazy busy long day at work, run a bunch of errands before you get home and end up walking in the door when you’d normally like to be done with dinner, knowing that you still have some work to finish up at night. That was my day on Tuesday and by the time I got home I was about ready to collapse!

But I couldn’t because somehow, the husband had managed to have an even crazier day than I did. And when I called him on my way home and asked what we were doing for dinner, he said, “Do you think you could make something? I’d really like that.”

How could I say no to that?? If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I got married, it’s that sometimes you gotta take one for the team. My husband doesn’t usually ask for stuff like that, so I know that when he does, it’s because he’s reallyย had a hard day. So even though the last thing I wanted to be doing was cooking dinner (I wanted to curl up on the couch with a bowl of ice cream and watch Glee), I opened our fridge and created this dish in about 40 minutes.

So here it is: my Thai-inspired Noodle dish with peanut sauce; or: The Hubby’s Noodle Dinner.

The Ingredients

Everything I used in this dish was literally stuff I had in my pantry or fridge:

  • 8 oz Whole wheat spaghetti – makes about 4 cups cooked spaghetti (to make this gluten free, useย Ancient Harvest Supergrain Quinoa Pasta)
  • Soy Sauce (enough to thin out the peanut butter – if you need to make this gluten free, you can use Little Soya Soy Sauce)
  • Half a block of Firm Tofu (from a 16oz pack)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 package frozen Broccoli florets (10oz pack)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup green onions, diced
  • Thai red curry paste to taste
  • Light Coconut milk (enough to thin out the peanut butter – I used about 3 Tbsp)
  • 1/3 cup of crunchy peanut butter (not pictured above, you can substitute the Satay Peanut Sauce in the photo above if you’re not a strict vegetarian and if you don’t want to make the peanut sauce from scratch!)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, plus more to garnish
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil cooking spray
Note: if you’re not a strict vegetarian, you can use the satay peanut sauce from Trader Joe’s (pictured above). But if you are a strict vegetarian then watch out! The Satay Peanut sauce isn’t veggie friendly.
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The Directions
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Step 1: Dice the red pepper, green onion and tofu into bite sized chunks
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Step 2: Heat a large pan over medium heat. Spray the olive oil cooking spray to coat the pan, and toss the tofu in. Lightly fry the tofu until it’s slightly browned, and then add the red pepper, green onion and garlic.
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Step 3: Cook your whole wheat spaghetti according to package directions.

Step 4: While the spaghetti is cooking, add the frozen broccoli, soy sauce, peanut butter, coconut milk, thai red curry paste, (or – eliminate the coconut milk, peanut butter, & thai red curry paste and use the satay peanut sauce instead) to the tofu mixture. Once the spaghetti is done, transfer the noodles to the veggie mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and stir them in as well.

Quick tip: Make sure your peanut butter is at room temperature, so it easily combines with the rest of the ingredients! Otherwise you’ll be waiting for it to heat through for a while.

Step 5: Add the crushed red pepper to taste and heat through. Add soy sauce or salt to taste (if needed – mine didn’t need any more).

Serve and enjoy!

I wasn’t sure how this dish would turn out because I literally threw it together, but the husband absolutely loved it. He said it was really tasty and flavorful and once I tasted it, I was pretty happy with it too! Next time I’ll probably add more tofu, and cut the broccoli florets smaller because the husband likes smaller chunks of veggies ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Thai Inspired Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 260

Fat per serving: 9.5g

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 260 Calories, 9.5g Fat, 7g Fiber, 1g Sugar, 14g Protein

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Whole wheat spaghetti โ€“ makes about 4 cups cooked spaghetti (to make this gluten free, use Ancient Harvest Supergrain Quinoa Pasta)
  • Soy Sauce (enough to thin out the peanut butter โ€“ if you need to make this gluten free, you can use Little Soya Soy Sauce)
  • Half a block of Firm Tofu (from a 16oz pack)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 package frozen Broccoli florets (10oz pack)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup green onions, diced
  • Thai red curry paste to taste
  • Light Coconut milk (enough to thin out the peanut butter โ€“ I used about 3 Tbsp)
  • 1/3 cup of crunchy peanut butter (you can substitute the Satay Peanut Sauce in the photo above if youโ€™re not a strict vegetarian and if you donโ€™t want to make the peanut sauce from scratch!)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, plus more to garnish
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Directions

  1. Dice the red pepper, green onion and tofu into bite sized chunks
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Spray the olive oil cooking spray to coat the pan, and toss the tofu in. Lightly fry the tofu until itโ€™s slightly browned, and then add the red pepper, green onion and garlic.
  3. Cook your whole wheat spaghetti according to package directions.
  4. While the spaghetti is cooking, add the frozen broccoli, soy sauce, peanut butter, coconut milk, thai red curry paste, (or โ€“ eliminate the coconut milk & thai red curry paste and use the satay peanut sauce) to the tofu mixture. Once the spaghetti is done, transfer the noodles to the veggie mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and stir them in as well. Quick tip: Make sure your peanut butter is at room temperature, so it easily combines with the rest of the ingredients! Otherwise youโ€™ll be waiting for it to heat through for a while.
  5. Add the crushed red pepper to taste and heat through. Add soy sauce or salt to taste (if needed โ€“ mine didnโ€™t need any more).

Notes

If youโ€™re not a strict vegetarian, you can use the satay peanut sauce from Trader Joeโ€™s (pictured above). But if you are a strict vegetarian then watch out! The Satay Peanut sauce isnโ€™t veggie friendly. The calorie information above is for the homemade version (not the Satay Peanut Sauce version).

http://pickyeaterblog.com/thai-inspired-noodles-with-peanut-sauce/

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Mona November 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm

can we use creamy peanut butter instead?

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anjalim November 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm

yes you can! I just used chunky because I like the texture ๐Ÿ™‚

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Irina G (Fit Flexitarian) November 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm

These look SO good!!!

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Emily @ Life on Food November 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Oh man I have days like that way to often. Normally the solution for me is picking up the phone for take out. I am super impressed but this little creation. It looks delicious. I bet the husband was very happy!

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anjalim November 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Thanks so much! He was very happy – I think he needed a wholesome meal (and turns out I did too). But yes – normally I’m totally with you on the takeout – it took a lot of willpower to get cooking that day!

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Vedika November 10, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Hey Anjali,
It looks great! will give it a try.. ๐Ÿ™‚
Me and my hubby don’t like peanut butter that much.. So probably will substitute that with something else..

take care,
Vedika.

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anjalim November 11, 2011 at 12:11 am

Hi Vedika! You can substitute any nut butter – cashew butter might work well. Let me know how it turns out for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Andy November 11, 2011 at 11:42 am

Do you think that it would be OK to substitute and use the “Better’n Peanut Butter” that they sell at Trader Joe’s?

http://www.betternpeanutbutter.com/index.php

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anjalim November 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I wouldn’t, mainly because “better’n peanut butter” has a different taste than regular peanut butter – it’s slightly sweet and doesn’t have the same consistency. It also doesn’t have the same nutritional value! I’m not a huge fan of better’n peanut butter. If you’re looking for a lower calorie alternative, I’d suggest using a little less peanut butter and more rice vinegar / soy sauce / chili for added flavor. Hope that helps!

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Kodi April 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm

The first time I made this I thought it was pretty good but my husband was a little on the fence about it. Then he mentioned that we should use mushrooms instead of tofu and rice instead of noodles and it was even better! This has become one of our regular dishes.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Those are great substitutions!! I’m glad that making those small changes also changed your husband’s mind about it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Just out of curiosity, if you don’t use tofu – what do you use for protein in the dish? Do you add meat instead?

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Kodi April 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I don’t add any meat. My husband and I gave up meat last year. I didn’t even think to consider how much less protein mushrooms have compared to tofu. I’ve tried a few different recipes with tofu and I just can’t get my husband to eat it, he keeps asking me to use mushrooms instead. He’s a really picky eater.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I can totally understand that – tofu is an acquired taste! Is it the texture that he doesn’t like? Does he like a firmer texture for the protein in his dish? If so – I have some alternatives for you that are high in protein and still veggie friendly ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know!

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Kodi April 28, 2012 at 11:28 am

It is the texture that he doesn’t like. I would love to hear some suggestions!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Ah ok – so my husband isn’t a huge fan of soft tofu texture either (it’s too squishy for him). A few alternatives that have a better texture: seitan, tempeh, and the Teriyaki Baked Tofu from Trader Joe’s all have a much firmer and more “meat-like” texture. Let me know if he likes any of those!

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Anna December 5, 2012 at 7:49 am

Another thing you can do is press the tofu and bake it. That is the only way my boyfriend will eat it. He likes it in smaller cubes.

To press the tofu, I put it between two large plates then put a three poud book on top of it. Let it sit for 40 minutes. You will e shovked how much water comes out! Here are instructions if that isnt clear: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVelgp4QTTE

I then cut it up, marinate it in soy sauce for a couple hours, then bake at 350 for around 30 minutes, turning halfway through.

Also, I have never tried this, but there is a method where you drain the block then freeze it. Supposedly it does wonders for the texture.

Hope this helps!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater December 5, 2012 at 10:36 am

Wonderful tips, thanks so much for sharing Anna!

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Jen August 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm

This was super good! Just made it for my lunches for the week!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater August 21, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Awesome!! This tastes so amazing after sitting for a day in the fridge – all the flavors just intensify – it makes the perfect next-day lunch!

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Joypebble October 17, 2012 at 7:17 am

The recipe sounds delicious and is very helpful, but I don’t see the Trader Joe’s satay peanut sauce listed in the primary ingredients, even as a substitution. It’s not clear where it falls in the lineup of ingredients.

thanx

—JP

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 17, 2012 at 7:43 am

Great point Joy! I mentioned this in the directions (that the Satay Peanut Sauce can be used as a substitution for the peanut butter + coconut milk), but I’ve updated the recipe ingredients to make it more clear. Thanks for catching that – let me know if it makes sense now!

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Laura March 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Loved this! Made it without the tofu, added extra veg. still delish. Thank you!
(You still need to add the words peanut butter in the satay sauce substitution line of the recipe, it only says coconut milk and red curry paste….almost used both.)

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater March 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Yayyy! I’m so glad you liked this! And omg – great catch – just made the change. Thanks Laura!

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Anna December 5, 2012 at 7:52 am

Hello! I just discovered your blog via skinnytaste. I’m very excited because this is the first vegetarian blog I have found that I really like! I am going to the grocery store today to try out this recipe. I was wondering how many servings this makes and how much pasta you used? Thank you!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater December 5, 2012 at 10:35 am

Hi Anna! It’s so nice to meet you – and I’m so glad you like my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚ This recipe makes about 6 servings, and I used 8oz of pasta. I just updated the recipe with all of the nutritional information and included a printed version as well (in case you want to print out the recipe before you head to the grocery store!) Can’t wait to hear how you like it!

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Anna December 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm

You rock! I made this for dinner tonight and it was great! I found a vegan satay peanut sauce made by Thai Kitchen so I used that, along with a bit of red curry paste. I also subbed water chestnuts for the pepper (I’m not a fan of bell peppers) and doubled the tofu. It was really good, flavorful and easy to make! I am really looking forward to trying out some of your Indian recipes. I recently moved to Miami and there is a serious lack of quality Indian restaurants. I’ll let you know what I try and how it turns out!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater December 10, 2012 at 7:30 am

Oh awesome!! I love your substitutions btw – will definitely be adding in water chestnuts the next time I make this! Thanks Anna!

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Aparna May 15, 2013 at 10:29 am

I made these last week and they were DELICIOUS. Even my Mom (who doesn’t trust sauces from Asian restaurants) loved this because she knew I made the sauce at home. And you’re right, the noodles tasted waaaay better the next day. I think next time I might make the sauce a day earlier and let it sit in the fridge so all the flavors can come together. I bought a box of fresh mixed stirfry veggies from Trader Joes and they added such color and variety to this dish! I also used rice noodles instead of the whole wheat spaghetti, but next time I’m trying the pasta ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for this awesome recipe!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater May 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Yaaay!! I’m soooo happy to hear that Aparna! And I love the addition of the mixed stirfry veggies from TJ’s and trying out the rice noodles. I think I’ll try rice noodles next time ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ll have to let me know how you like it with the whole wheat pasta, and whether you prefer that or the rice noodles in this recipe!

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Anu March 9, 2014 at 12:47 am

Hi Anjali!

I just stumbled across your website through my sister and I absolutely love it! I’ve never been much of a cook and since I’m still in college, I’m trying to pick up a few things before I start working and in general to be healthier. I tried this recipe today with a red curry sauce and I absolutely loved it!

Thanks and can’t wait to try some more of your recipes! ๐Ÿ™‚

-Anu

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater March 9, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Hi Anu! Aw yay I’m so glad you found my blog! It’s great to meet you ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m so glad you liked this recipe!! Keep me posted on how the rest of my recipes turn out for you and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

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Robin Hagaman June 22, 2014 at 12:53 am

I found this by doing a google search of the peanut sauce I bought from Trader Joe’s! Thank you… I made it! I don’t like how DRY and thick it comes out so I added some water to it at the end. I have a question for you! HOW much of the satay peanut sauce do you use??? You did not say an amount to use! The =)

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater June 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I’d say use the same amount as the peanut butter – about 1/3 cup, but you can adjust it to be more or less depending on your taste preferences!

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