Thai Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken

Thai Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken

These peanut noodles might be one of the most delicious and easiest recipes we’ve ever created. It’s basically the love child of Chinese cold sesame noodles and Thai chicken satay. If you like those kinds of flavors, I think you’re going to be pretty happy with your dinner.

It’s also happens to be very adaptable. You can make a vegan version with tofu. You could grill shrimp instead of chicken. You could add pretty much any vegetable you would throw into a stir fry (I’ve listed some options with the recipe below).

Fresh Chinese wheat noodles

Fresh Chinese wheat noodles

We found these fresh noodles at our local Asian market but dried spaghetti works equally well. I’ve also seen fresh Chinese egg noodles for sale at our grocery store and those would be great too. Whatever style you decide on, cook them until they’re al dente (but don’t undercook them either).

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Aside completely unrelated to peanut noodles: 

David Bowie

David Bowie

I don’t often get emotional about celebrity deaths but the loss of David Bowie this week has made me very sad. He was a huge influence on me (and so many people, of course). As a kid, I dressed up as Ziggy Stardust three years in a row. Space Oddity was my jam and no matter how many times I sang it to my cats, they never seemed to get how incredible it was.

But as powerful as his music was, I think he influenced my love of film and science fiction even more. I saw “The Man Who Fell To Earth” at Film Forum in the 1980’s and his performance was so moving, so lonely that it put me in an odd mood for days. That was the first time I understood the power of film. That it can leave you with larger questions than you came into the theater with.

Rest in peace, David Jones.

**Aaaaaand just before posting this, I read that Alan Rickman died. What a terrible week.

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Allright, hopefully a warm, healthy dinner will make us feel better *sobs into bowl of delicious peanut noodles*.

Thai Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken

One of the things I love about this dish is that it really delivers a variety of flavors and textures. The noodles are creamy and rich, the chicken is crispy from the grill* and the whole thing is topped with crunchy peanuts and a scattering of bright herbs. In one bite, you’ve got sweet, salty, spicy and tart. Pretty damn good, right?

*I’m obsessed with our Lodge cast iron grill pan. It gets blisteringly hot and sears beautifully. I think I might use it even when it’s not below freezing out.  If you don’t have a grill or grill pan available, you can sear the chicken in a large skillet.

Thai Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken

Cooking chicken on a grill pan

Thai Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken

Great additions and options:
  • Grilled shrimp
  • Grilled tofu
  • Thinly sliced cucumber
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Steamed snow peas
  • Bean sprouts
  • Thinly sliced red or yellow peppers
  • Sliced chili (like jalapeño or serrano)
  • Grated carrots
  • Pickled daikon

Thai Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1½ inch chunks
  • 1 pound fresh Chinese wheat noodles or dried spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced or grated
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1½ teaspoons chili-garlic sauce (Sambal) or Sriracha
  • ⅓ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • Sliced limes, for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a medium size bowl whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, ginger, garlic, brown sugar and chili sauce.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the chicken and toss with 2 tablespoons of the peanut sauce mixture. Let marinate at least 10 minutes and up to a day. Heat a grill, grill pan or heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned and just done, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Cook the noodles in large pot of salted boiling water to al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain well and transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil until evenly coated. Pour the remaining sauce over the noodles and mix well until fully combined. If it's too thick, thin it with a few tablespoons of the reserved noodle cooking water. Add the scallions and grilled chicken and toss again.