Quick, easy, and the perfect way to use up leftover smoked chicken, this Spicy Thai Peanut Noodle Salad with Smoked Chicken is a new favorite of mine!
What is it about the mix of heat with a touch of sweet that always has us begging for more?
The first time I had Spicy Thai Peanut Noodle Salad I didn’t understand just how subtle and complex this cold pasta salad could be. I have a thing against cold noodles. I often find the texture undesirable once chilled and tossed with mayo or oil.
But peanut butter…. much to my surprise, that is entirely acceptable to my palate. Not just acceptable, but by far my favorite spin on a refreshing cold pasta dish.
The version I sampled was creamy and very smooth. Loaded with the signature peanut butter flavor. It lacked depth, but I didn’t care. I slurped the noodles with glee at my new discovery of a truly good use for cold pasta.
Why it took me so long to try this dish in my own kitchen is beyond me. But when I did take it on, I wanted layers. I wanted more than just peanut butter tossed noodles with a random ‘Thai’ label thrown in.
I wanted to mix a balance of all of the flavors. Combine them in the way that south-east Asian cuisine masters with such grace.
Then, to sweeten the deal, I added a touch honey, spice with the sriracha, savory from the peanut butter, and a splash of sour with the lime. The smoked chicken on top, cooled and sliced, was the perfect added protein to turn this from a side into the main dish. Yeah, it is that good.
Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles can be made with rice noodles or any long noodle of choice you have in the pantry.
You can adjust the flavor profile can also be easily to your own taste. Make it sweeter with more honey, or brown sugar. Add heat with more minced pepper or sriracha sauce. And better yet, you can make a big batch ahead and have it ready for the lunch meal plan all week long.
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Spicy Thai Peanut Noodle Salad with Smoked Chicken
- 1/2 red pepper stemmed, seeded and sliced thin
- 1/2 yellow pepper stemmed, seeded and sliced thin
- 1/2 orange pepper stemmed, seeded and sliced thin
- 1 yellow onion sliced thin
- 2 carrots julienned
- 3 tbsp sesame oil divided
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- Thai sweet chili sauce
- sriracha sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small Thai pepper minced
- 1 lbs cooked rice noodles or spaghetti cooked to al dente, drained and rinsed
- 1 lime
- 6 to 8 oz smoked chicken cooled and sliced thin or chopped
- crushed peanuts
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the veggies in 1 tablespoon sesame oil until just softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and allow to cool.
- Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, peanut butter, sweet chili sauce, sriracha, and honey together in a large bowl. Add the minced garlic and Thai red pepper along with a pinch of salt. Toss in the cooked pasta to coat.
- Squeeze the juice of the lime over the salad.
- If desired, add the chopped chicken, or serve the pasta in a bowl with the smoked chicken atop.
- Garnish with crushed peanuts and fresh basil.
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