Crispy Thai Cold noodle salad infused with spicy peanut sauce, fresh veggies, cilantro, and crunchy peanuts.
Did you ever have a dish or a style of food that you just fall head over in love with? I mean you all know that pizza is my all-time favorite food but when it comes to anything with spicy peanut sauce, I’m in LOVE!
I think it all started with my love of peanut butter. Peanut butter was one of those things that I would eat when I refused to eat what Mom made. I was seriously super finicky as a child.
PB&J, peanut butter on bread or even on saltines and I was in heaven. It was only natural that when I had my first taste of a Thai dish with peanut sauce I fell hard in love.
What I love about this dish is the simplicity. If you’re like me, you already have a jar of Spicy Peanut Sauce prepared but if not, that’s ok! It takes mere minutes to whisk up!
After that, it’s just basic ingredients from the pantry and the fridge.
Grab Your Ingredients
The best thing about this recipe is you can use what veggies you have on hand. Fresh is best though. And if you don’t have specific Thai Noodles or even Asian noodles, you can easily use spaghetti or even linguine noodles.
From The Fridge
- Red, Orange, and Yellow Bell Pepper
- Watermelon Radish (or regular radish)
- Persian Cucumbers
- Matchstick Carrots
Whether you use it for noodle dishes, salads, a dipping sauce or spring rolls, this is THE BEST Spicy Peanut Sauce! A delicious blend of peanut butter and Asian flavors that is finger-licking good.
Let’s Make Cold Thai Noodle Salad
This dish could not be any easier to make.
While you’re cooking your noodles you can julienne cut up the veggies. I cheated (as I hate julienne cutting carrots) and used packaged matchstick carrots.
Chef’s Tip For The Noodles
- When then noodles are done, drain the water and immediately run cold water over the noodles for 5 minutes. You need to chill them down fast.
- Also, while you’re running cold water on the noodles, you need to move the noodles around with either clean fingers or tongs. This helps to keep the noodles separated while they are being rinsed. This is important
- To a very big bowl, add the cold noodles followed by the veggies.
- Using tongs or large salad fork/spoon, mix the noodles with the veggies
- Next, add on about 3/4 of a cup of the peanut sauce and mix with tongs. The noodles and veggies will only be lightly coated. You don’t want to saturate the noodles/veggies but simply coat them.
- Add on the cilantro, chopped peanuts, and sesame seeds. Toss to combine.
- If the mixture looks a tad dry you can add a little more sauce. Just make sure to reserve some for serving.
Eat Now or Chill for Married Flavors
With this salad you have 2 choices:
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes; or
- Serve immediately
If I can hold off, I prefer to let this chill for abou 30 minutes to let the flavors marry together. The longer the better if you ask me to be honest.
Serving Crunchy Cold Asian Noodle Salad
Right before serving this, I will toss one last time and add a few more Tbl of the spicy peanut sauce. Again, it’s not “saucy” like pasta but rather just coated and smooth.
On the side I’ll also serve a side of the spicy peanut sauce as some folks like to dip into the sauce where others want it saucy like regular pasta.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering why I use a fork instead of chop sticks. Simply put, even as a Chef, I cannot master using them. I’ve tried a million times and nope… my fingers just do not work that way.
You, however, are more than welcome to use chopsticks. And hey if you have any tips on mastering them, let me know!
Storing Leftover Cold Thai Noodle Salad
You have a few options really though it can’t be frozen.
- Portion out into weekly meal prep containers.
- Store in a large, covered dish and take out a plate when you want some.
Heating Up This Salad
If you’re like me and you are curious if this is good, heated the answer is YES! Well more like it’s warm rather than ‘hot’.
I still rinsed my noodles for 5 minutes and made the salad per the recipe but when I went to have it for leftovers, I put it in the microwave for about 35-40 seconds.
What this did was warm up the noodles ever so slightly and the sauce as well.
Not sure if this is “against the rules” but it was pretty freaking delcious warmed.
Crunchy Thai Cold Peanut Salad Additions
I’m not going to go into the veggie additions as honestly there are millions of ways you could go with this. Instead let’s talk about ways to make this heartier.
- Cooked Shrimp – if eating it cold, add cold shrimp. If eating it warmed, add sauteed shrimp (I’d go with sriracha spiced shrimp)
- Cooked Chicken – I would add ginger/honey/peanut/asian spiced cubed chicken. That’s a great addition of protein
- Steak – Grill up a ribeye or sirlon that’s been marinated in vegetable oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce and dark brown sugar. When done slice thinly and top the salad with this
- Cooked Quinoa – this adds a bit more texture and body to the dish
What would you add?
Keto-Friendly/Gluten-Free Thai Salad Substitutions
- For the Peanut Sauce, see the recipe post as I give you instructions there.
- Noodles – I would go with Gluten Free Noodles or Shiritake noodles
- 8 ounces Lo Mein, pad thai style or soba noodles or any thin spaghetti, cooked al dente per the package
- 1 medium red, orange, and yellow bell pepper cored and julienne cut
- 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
- 1–2 Persian cucumbers, julienne cut
- 1 16 ounces bag coleslaw
- 1/2 watermelon radish, julienne cut (can use 5–6 regular radishes instead)
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups prepared Spicy Peanut Sauce
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro (about 1/2–3/4 of a fresh bunch)
- 1 Tbl toasted sesame seeds
- Cook the noodles per the package instructions until al dente. Drain and immediately rinse in cold water for 5 minutes. Run your fingers (clean) through the noodles or use tongs to help separate them as the water runs through.
- In a large bowl, add the cold noodles, all of the vegetables and gently toss to combine. Add on 3/4 of a cup of the spicy peanut sauce and toss with tongs or salad fork/spoon to coat the noodles and vegetables. Add on the peanuts, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Toss again.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes (though you can eat immediately if you can’t wait). Right before serving, toss and add additional peanut sauce if needed.
- Plate and serve with a side of remaining peanut sauce. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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