This was a delicious and quick weeknight dinner, it was full of so many different levels of flavors and textures. If you have never tried red curry, you really need to. It has a very subtle heat and it is made up of a variety of different spices, I really love the hint of lemongrass that it brings. Look for jars of red curry paste in the Asian aisle at the supermarket. These noodles have a lovely creaminess from the peanut butter, that subtle spice from the red curry and so many great textures with the green onions, carrots, cucumber and peanuts. We served a few grilled shrimp atop the noodles, but it definitely doesn’t need it, so you can go without for a great vegetarian meal.
This would also make the perfect side dish for a summer-time picnic. I rinsed our noodles in hot water to keep the dish at a warm temperature but you could easily rinse the noodles in cold water to make it a completely cold dish. You could even make the noodles and chill them up to a day ahead of time, just make the sauce the day-of and toss it together to make a quick cold noodle salad. You could use any noodle you like here, regular fettucini, whole wheat spaghetti, etc.
I didn’t think this was too spicy by any means, but if you aren’t a big fan of spicy, take the red curry paste to 1 tablespoon and leave off the red pepper flakes at the end.
Curry Peanut Rice Noodles
adapted from Food Network Magazine, June 2010
12 ounces gluten-free rice noodles, I prefer Tinkyada’s pad thai style brown rice fettucini
2/3 cup organic crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving
1/3 cup of fresh cilantro, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup water
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into thing strips
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1/2 cup of dry roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed
Red pepper flakes
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid, drain the noodles and rinse. Shake off excess water.
Meanwhile, puree the peanut butter, curry paste, vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, 1/2 cup of water and of salt in your food processor until smooth. Toss the noodles with the peanut sauce, green onions, cucumber and carrot in large bowl until coated. Season with salt and stir in some of the reserved cooking liquid from the pasta to loosen the sauce, if necessary. Serve on plates, topped with more cilantro, green onions, crushed peanuts and pepper flakes, if you like a bit of heat. Serve with lime wedges. We topped our noodles with a few pieces of shrimp that we grilled up quickly, it added a nice taste.