This Thai Peanut Noodle Salad is a flavourful combination of noodles, brightly coloured veggies, peanuts, cilantro, green onions, and optional chicken. The peanut dressing that coats everything hits on all of the traditional Thai flavour points of sweet, salty, tangy, and spicy, making it truly addictive as well as healthy.
PB2 Pure Peanut Butter Powder
This post is brought to you by PB2 which produces PB2 Crunchy Powdered Peanut Butter, a key ingredient of the dressing in this Thai Peanut Noodle Salad.
PB2 is a company that has innovatively created peanut butter that it sells in a powdered form. It includes very few ingredients, such as peanuts, sugar, and salt. As a result, it is gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free and suitable for numerous diets.
PB2 creates its peanut butter products by crushing peanuts into a powder after pressing the oil out of them. This provides consumers with peanut butter that is lower in calories and fat than traditional brands. It is also a high-quality source of plant-based protein. PB2's crunchy powdered peanut butter is a more textured version of its original adding an intriguing dimension to this Thai noodle salad.
PB2's peanut butter is easy to add to recipes at home because of its powdered nature. In fact, this crunchy peanut butter would be particularly delicious in peanut butter cookies or your favourite loaf for a contrasting texture.
How to Make Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
This Thai noodle salad recipe offers some choice at the start, as you can decide which type of noodles you would like to use. Rice stick noodles would likely be most traditional and are gluten free. But you can also use ramen noodles or if you prefer something a little more robust, Japanese soba noodles are an excellent choice. These comprise of buckwheat and have a pleasant, earthy flavour. They are also gluten free as they comprise of gluten free buckwheat rather than wheat.
Alternatively, you may use spaghetti noodles in this Thai noodle salad which are easy to find and soak up sauces and dressings like a dream. You should cook whatever noodles you use to an al dente texture according to the package instructions. Use the lower number if a time range is indicated. After cooking, drain the noodles, and rinse them to cool before proceeding to make the rest of the salad.
The Thai Peanut Noodle Salad Base
The next step is easy as it involves tossing the noodles with shredded purple cabbage, carrots, bell pepper (such as red bell pepper or even yellow), cilantro, green onions, roasted peanuts, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. For more nuttiness, I like to lightly toast the peanuts and sesame seeds in a frying pan. This really brings out their flavor. In the case of the sesame seeds, you may use black or white, but a combination of both is extra pretty!
Making the Dressing
To make the salad dressing, whisk the PB2 Crunchy Powdered Peanut Butter with hot water, soy sauce, lime, honey, garlic, sesame oil, and red curry paste until smooth. You can also combine and shake all of the ingredients in a jar. The hot water will help hydrate the powdered peanut butter so that it becomes smoothly incorporated with the other dressing ingredients.
If you would like your dressing a little more acidic, you can feel free to taste and add a little more lime at this point. Otherwise, the salad is excellent to serve with lime wedges to squeeze over top. You can even increase the soy sauce, salt, and pepper if you feel more are necessary.
Tossing the Thai Noodle Salad
Just before serving, drizzle the dressing over the vegetable and noodle mixture, and toss until well coated. While many heartier salads benefit from marinating with the dressing for a while, this one should be served straight away as the noodles will soak up all of the dressing. From there, a garnish of peanuts and sesame seeds is all you will need to make the salad ready for the table.
I recommend giving the tossed up salad a taste and adjusting flavors as needed. If you would like your dressing a little more acidic, you can add a little more lime at this point. You can even increase the soy sauce, salt, and pepper for more salty/savouriness or honey/maple syrup for more sweetness.
If you like spiciness an extra drizzle of Sriracha (other hot sauce) or chili flakes might be perfect.
Need a Little More Protein?
This salad is delicious and high protein already thanks to PB2's peanut butter, but if you are into eating meat, you can serve it with some chicken. Some sliced chicken that you have grilled at home is wonderful, but a good shortcut is to include store-bought rotisserie chicken.
If grilling, you may want to add another dimension of flavour by making a little extra dressing and brushing it onto the chicken breasts or thighs towards the end of cooking.
Can I Make Thai Peanut Noodle Salad Ahead?
While I don't recommend that you toss the salad too far ahead of when you intend to serve it, you could prepare elements of it in advance. For example, you can also pre-cook the noodles and toss them with the vegetables and keep the mix in the fridge.
You can also prepare the dressing in advance and store it in a sealable container. Before serving, shake up the dressing to combine everything again as some ingredients will settle at the bottom. Then you are ready to drizzle it over the prepared noodle-veggie mix and toss everything up.
Other Thai-inspired Recipes You'll Love:
Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
This Thai Peanut Noodle Salad is a flavourful combination of noodles, brightly coloured veggies, peanuts, cilantro, green onions, and optional chicken. The peanut dressing that douses everything hits on all of the traditional Thai flavour points of sweet, salty, tangy, and spicy, making it truly addictive as well as healthy.
- 7 ounces noodles like ramen, soba, rice stick, or spaghetti
- 3 cups purple cabbage shredded
- 2 medium carrots shredded
- 1 bell pepper (red, yellow, orange) thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves about ½ bunch
- ½ cup sliced green onions about 4
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds black or white
- optional grilled chicken breast or rotisserie chicken
Thai Peanut Dressing
- ½ cup PB2 Crunchy Powdered Peanut Butter
- ⅓ cup hot water
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice from 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove pressed or grated
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon red curry paste or Sriracha sauce *
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles until al dente or as long as indicated on the package. Then drain them and rinse until cooled.
Add the cooled cooked noodles to a large bowl together with shredded purple cabbage, shredded carrots, thinly sliced bell peppers, chopped cilantro, and sliced green onions.
Toss everything until combined.
To make the dressing add the PB2 Crunchy Peanut Butter Powder to a glass jar. To that add the hot water, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, garlic, sesame oil, and red curry paste (or Sriracha).
Whisk all dressing ingredients until evenly combined. Or close the jar and shake everything up.
Drizzle the dressing over the cold noodle salad not too long before serving (otherwise the noodles absorb a lot of it and the salad dries out). Toss everything up to combine.
Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and sesame seeds. Taste and adjust with soy sauce, salt & pepper, or lime juice as needed.
To turn this into a more filling main meal you can top each serving with grilled chicken slices or cut up rotisserie chicken meat.
*both of these condiments give the dressing a delicious Thai flavor profile.
Red curry paste is a great way to add the Thai aromatics of lemongrass, galangal and Kaffir lime (which can be difficult to find fresh outside of Asia).
Sriracha makes the dressing spicier with more garlic flavor.