These Spicy Thai noodles use everyday grocery store ingredients to make a delicious dinner ready in under 20 minutes.
The pasta noodles are coated in a sweet and spicy sauce, then topped with coleslaw mix for a quick and easy recipe that is sure to have your tastebuds going.
These Thai noodles are vegetarian but you can easily serve them with chicken, shrimp or beef. Great Thai flavor with easy to find ingredients!
Spicy Thai Noodles
Whilst these Thai noodles aren't authentic, they sure are tasty! And when it comes to dinner ideas, I will take tasty every day!!!
The regular pasta noodles (I use linguine) are cooked in salted water with a touch of baking soda. This gives them a great texture and taste, turning your regular pasta into Asian style noodles.
The sweet and spicy sauce is a mixture of sesame oil, soy sauce, honey and red pepper flakes (chilli flakes).
To add crunch and veggies a bag of slaw mix is added to the top, with plenty of roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, and cilantro.
Using Pasta instead of Asian Noodles
If you have ever tried this before you know that whilst the dish is good, the pasta noodles are often lacking that special something that Asian noodles have.
BUT with this simple hack, you can easily turn Italian into Asian, with an ingredient you already have in your pantry/store cupboard.
Baking soda turns normal spaghetti (or linguine) into a chewy noodle! It also changed the color and makes your noodles look more yellow, just like Asian noodles!
This is to do with introducing an alkali into the cooking process! It is crazy but it works!
Top Tip: Cook your pasta in an extra-large pan and add the baking soda slowly so you don't create an eruption! The baking soda can cause the water to boil up more rapidly so a bigger pan helps to prevent this.
To use pasta instead of noodles, bring a large pan of water to a boil, add salt and then your pasta. Push the pasta down to fully submerge then add 2 teaspoons of baking soda slowly to the water.
Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the packet suggests, as they will finish cooking in the spicy-sweet sauce.
The Sweet Spicy Sauce
This sauce can be made as spicy or as mild as you like. We go middle of the road, a little too spicy for the kids but certainly not so spicy that you are constantly looking for your water glass.
To make the sauce red pepper flakes are cooked gently in sesame oil until they have released their fire. The red pepper flakes are then strained off and the spicy oil is mixed with honey, soy sauce and a little fish sauce (optional).
This sweet-spicy mixture is simmered gently whilst the noodles cook, then everything is tossed together.
What is Fish Sauce?
If you are unfamiliar with fish sauce, it is a thin brown liquid that is prepared from fermented anchovies and salt. I know that sound foul!!!
And truth be told when you give it a sniff from the bottle it isn't appealing at first. But it has that umami funk about it, that adds something delicious to the dish. I really recommend you give it a go.
Fish sauce can be found in most grocery stores these days, it is on the same aisle as the soy sauce. If you can't find it in your grocery store or are serving vegetarians you can certainly leave it out.
Adding vegetables to your Thai Noodles
To keep this dinner so simple I use a pre-shredded/chopped packet of slaw mix (coleslaw mix). The ones you buy in the fresh veg section with all the bagged salads. There is such a choice these days that you can find one that perfectly fits your family. We like a Tri-Color Cole Slaw mix best. But sometimes I will buy the one with added corn or broccoli stems.
You can shred your own veg as well. Things that work well:
- Green Cabbage
- Red Cabbage
- Green Onion
- Red Bell Pepper
- Broccoli Stems
What to serve with Spicy Thai Noodles
These noodles are delicious on their own as a dinner or served cold for lunches throughout the week. But if you want to add some protein to these then you could fry off some well-seasoned chicken breasts, shrimp or steak.
For even more veggies, why not add some roasted broccoli or some crispy fried tofu? The possibilities for adding to the noodles are endless.
Alternatively, serve these Thai Noodles as a side dish with:
- Beef Massaman Curry
- Quick and Easy Thai Fish
- Quick and Easy Thai Salmon (coming soon)
- Sticky Thai Chicken Breasts (coming soon)
How to Garnish Thai Noodles
Your noodles will be gorgeous once you have piled on the shredded veg, but for that special pretty look and of course extra flavor, I 100% recommend adding some extra toppings.
- Roasted Peanuts
- Sesame Seeds (I like white and black mixed)
- Cilantro (or Thai basil)
- Lime wedges
What to drink with Thai Noodles
The balance of sweet, salty, and spicy here lends this dish to an off-dry Riesling, it has enough acidity and sweetness to cut the spice, but won't make everything taste cloyingly sweet. Or opt for a fruity Sauvignon Blanc. Or go the classic route of a Gewürztraminer.
For red lovers, pick something light with low tannins like a Gamay or a Zinfandel. Both can handle the spice but won't overpower the dish.
But my favorite choice of wine for Thai food is usually a sparkling rose! It complements the spicy and sweet and the fizz works to balance any acidity.
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Spicy Thai Noodle Recipe
- ½ lb linguine - see note 1
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tbsp red pepper flakes - see note 2
- 6 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp fish sauce (optional) - see note 3
- 1 bag coleslaw mix (400g/14oz bag) - see note 4
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- lime wedges
- fresh cilantro - or Thai basil
- Bring a large pan of water to a boil and add the salt and baking soda (see note 5)
- Add in the pasta and set the timer for 2 minutes less than the packet suggests.
- Whilst the pasta is boiling, pour the sesame oil into a large skillet and add in the red pepper flakes.
- Heat the oil over medium heat until hot.
- Strain off the red pepper flakes, reserving the oil and then return the oil to the skillet.
- Add the soy sauce, honey and fish sauce to the oil and simmer gently.
- Toss the drained pasta through the sauce, turning it for 1-2 minutes until well coated and fully cooked.
- Toss through the bag of chopped slaw
- Serve garnished with peanuts, sesame seeds, lime wedges, and cilantro.
- Served hot or as a cold salad.
- You can use any long pasta for this recipe, spaghetti, fettuccine or angel hair will all work.
- ½ tbsp of red pepper flakes gives this a kick, but not too spicy. Add an extra ½ tbsp if you prefer really spicy noodles.
- Fish sauce is optional (leave out for vegetarians) you can find it in the Asian aisle of the grocery store. It smells funky but adds so much to the dish.
- You can buy any chopped slaw mixture your family enjoys, or shred your own. There are extra options in the main blog post.
- The baking soda can make the water boil up, so use a large pan and sprinkle the baking soda in slowly.
Recipe Adapted from A Small Snippet.