Want to know the secret to a great Thai noodle salad bowl? Spicy, gingery, scrumptious peanut dressing! These noodle bowls are filled with shredded chicken, fresh vegetables and herbs and generously drizzled with irresistible spicy peanut dressing that will make you want to cook this again and again!
Lots of exciting flavors and textures are packed into these little Thai noodle salad bowls: crisp shredded veggies, tender noodles, bright fresh herbs, salty crunchy peanuts, oniony scallions and delicious marinated chicken (more about that next). The spicy peanut dressing is so tasty you'll want to lick the spoon!
About the chicken - so tender and delicious! And it's easy to make. Boneless chicken thighs soak for 15 minutes in a simple Asian marinade of vegetable oil, soy sauce, Saki (or sherry), garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Then the chicken bakes for 20-25 minutes in the oven while you get the rest of the ingredients for the bowls ready.
HOW TO GET THESE THAI NOODLE SALAD BOWLS ON THE TABLE FAST!
- Whisk up the simple Asian marinade and get the chicken (or tofu) soaking. Preheat the oven.
- Make the peanut dressing and shred the cabbage and kale.
- Get the chicken in the oven and set the time for 20 minutes. If using tofu, sear the tofu in a skillet.
- Cook and drain the rice noodles, chop the scallions and cilantro and crush the peanuts.
- Shred the chicken or slice the tofu.
- Assemble the bowls and drizzle with plenty of delicious peanut sauce!
The thing I've discovered about these Thai noodle salad bowls, after making them about a gazillion times, is that they are delicious any way you make them. Once you have the spicy peanut dressing and the Asian marinade, you can take it from there and get creative with everything else.
Here's a version I made over the summer with cubed chicken and sautéed sugar snap peas. So good with sweet fresh snap peas in the mix when they're in season!
Here's one I made with brown rice and sautéed snow peas.
HOW TO CONSTRUCT HEALTHY THAI NOODLE SALAD BOWLS WITHOUT A RECIPE:
This dish is easy to construct using your favorite ingredients or whatever you have on hand.
- Vegetables: I chose shredded kale and red cabbage in this version but you can choose from a variety of in-season vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, sugar snap peas, snow peas, shredded carrots, spinach and cucumber are all great choices that go well with peanut sauce.
- Herbs: I used cilantro here but other fresh herbs such as basil, Thai basil or fresh mint would work beautifully in Thai noodle salad bowls
- Make it Vegan: It's easy to make Vegan Thai Noodle Bowls by using the same delicious marinade with tofu instead of chicken. Drain the tofu on paper towels for ten minutes or so, to dry it out a bit. Soak it in the marinade for ten minutes. Pan fry it in a little oil until golden, and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
- Make it Hot! If you want more of a kick to the peanut dressing, add additional crushed red pepper flakes or sriracha or cayenne or a teaspoon of Thai red chili paste, for even more flavor.
- Noodles: If you can't find thin rice noodles, substitute capellini or angel hair pasta
- Acid: You can use cider vinegar or rice vinegar in place of lime juice in the peanut dressing
- Sweet: Use honey in place of maple syrup in the dressing
- Make it Whole Grain: Sub out the noodles for brown rice or quinoa
- Your Recipe: If you come up with your own unique Thai noodle salad bowl combo, I'd love to hear about it!
I'm a big fan of one bowl meals, especially if they're loaded with healthy stuff and they taste great.
These Thai noodle salad bowls have quickly become a favorite dinner in my house. They're so exciting to behold. Every colorful crunchy bite is twisted in noodles and coated with creamy spicy peanut sauce. Scrumptious!
The added bonus: in addition to how great these Thai noodle salad bowls taste, is how healthy they are. They give you a big nutritious dose of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.
On a personal note, this recipe took months of testing. I served Thai noodle salad bowls to lots of friends during that time and got lots of requests for the recipe. I kept promising that it would be on the blog soon. Finally, it's here. Sorry friends. This one took me a long time but I hope you agree it was worth it!
Here's the recipe for Thai Noodle Salad Bowls with Spicy Peanut Dressing. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a rating and comment. I'd love to know what you think.