Taste the Rainbow: Thai Noodle Salad with Homemade Peanut Sauce
Updated: May 2, 2020
Hey, quick question, will I get sued for this title? Fun to think about. Alterntate name (just in case): Crunch n' Spice- cold Thai noodle salad with a homemade peanut sauce. Too long. Don't like it. So don't report or sue me. Next.
This is one of my all-time favourite cold salads (I'll show you later, but I like to keep the noodles and all vegetables separate until the very end, so the warmth of the noodles combined with the uncooked ingredients and the cold sauce make it mild and so refreshing!). Another great aspect of this dish is that you can prepare it days in advance during a meal or ingredient prep session: you can thinly slice everything, keep them refrigerated in separate containers and only quickly prepare your peanut sauce while boiling noodles when you are hungry. If you take the time to ingredient prep once or twice a week, I promise your meals will be made in minutes and will be much healthier!
Also, adding peanut sauces into your meals is a great way to make your children -or in my case significant other- eat more vegetarian and healthy meals! The dish contained tons of veggies and not once did he say 'where's the meat?' which I hear a lot. But I never give up. I am not a vegetarian per say, but I try to prepare vegetarian and vegan meals for at least half of our weekly dishes. It's better for us, the planet and our kitchen (because let's be honest the smell of fresh garlic and tomatoes in a pan is so much nicer in a home- and on your couch- than one of greasy bacon).
This is a little different than I usually do: I will tell you just how much I prepared vs what I used for each bowl. You will most likely have leftovers of your cut up veggies as I made two dinner portions and a lunch for René (I am using the leftovers tonight for a hummus, potato roast and veggie FEAST) so use the indicated quantity for each bowl! The first number is what I cut and put in a container, second indication what each individual bowl got- you can tell I used to teach very young children because I repeated this about 6 times in different ways.
You will need,
Red pepper (1, a handful)
Orange pepper (1, a handful)
Yellow pepper (1, a handful)
Scallions (4, a pinch)
Red onion (1, a pinch)
Chow mein noodles (as many as you want bowls!)
Peanuts (unsalted, which I crushed with a hammer in a small bag, a pinch for garnish)
Sesame seeds (a pinch, for garnish)
Carrot (1, shredded)
For the sauce, star of the show,
Peanut butter of your choice (1/2 cup)
Soy sauce (3 tbsp)
Chili oil (or powder, 1/2 tbsp/ a few drops)
Maple syrup (or brown sugar, eh!- 1 tbsp)
Lime oil (or fresh lime juice, 2 tbsp)
Water (1/4 cup, to thin, add as you wish depending on your desired consistency)
Whisk everything together and enjoy! Keep refrigerate and cover all your dishes with it.
* I used the help of The Minimalist Baker blog to tell you the sauce quantities as I do everything without measurements and just eyeball it!
A few simple steps,
1. Bring water to boil and cook as many noodle batches as desired depending on the amount of bowls you'd like to fill or the leftovers you wish to dive into the next day. Drain and place first portion in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add to the bowl the amount of vegetables and onions you wish to have for 1 bowl and pour sauce. Mix well and transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts and sesame seeds.
3. Repeat for each bowl. If you have leftovers, store the ingredients separate from the sauce and excess noodles and repeat the second step the next day. Voilà!
A fun fact: lunches can be delicious and not sandwiches. I think it can truly change your day at work to have a nice lunch you look forward to eating. Another factor which you should consider (you know, before getting into ingredient prepping and changing your LIFE) is that eating out can be extremely costly in the long-run and will most likely end up in you eating much more unhealthy ingredients as a consequence. Let's face it, takeout meals are so much higher in sodium and sugar- bad for the wallet and your soul. But again, I get it- it's very hard for me to resist a Chinese takeout offer.
Something which also helps spruce up your meal on its second day is having nice, fresh dressing on hand. I have collaborated with food services in the past such as GoodFood and always reused their cups for dressings to go- I have dozens by now and they really add a nice touch! So look for small cups around your house (find a small Dijon mustard or jam jar, wash it and it's your new dressing/sauce pal). I always add Ketchup, homemade garlic mayonnaise, hummus or herbs dressing to René's lunches and, well, they're game changers, what can I say. Also, and that's a given, by keeping the dressing in a separate jar, you allow your vegetables to stay crunchy and fresh much longer! No sorry lunch for you.