I kind of have a thing for noodle bowls, especially this one since it satisfies virtually all the requirements I look for in a meal: Quick, easy, flavorful, healthy and satisfying. Plus, this dish provides both heat from sriracha and fresh green onion and sweet from a creamy ginger peanut sauce. Friends, this is delicious simplicity at its finest.
The concept is simple: Prepare rice noodles, chop up fresh veggies of your choice (I prefer carrots and green onions), add in some protein (like tofu), fresh herbs (basil is my jam) and whisk up a quick dressing and throw it all together. It’s so incredibly filling and requires just 10-15 minutes of your time. It’s also vegan and gluten free, and for our peanut butter-adverse friends, simply sub in cashew butter or tahini. Finally, something we can ALL enjoy totally guilt free.
I typically make this style of dish for dinner, but add a sauce to the noodles and do a pad thai spin-off. But this fresh version is so light and refreshing and definitely hits the spot mid-day. However, it would make an excellent mid-week meal since it requires little time and thought and can be assembled buffet style so even picky eaters get what they want.
The peanut dressing is what makes this dish: Peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, lime, ginger, chili garlic sauce and hot water. These ingredients can be found at any Asian market and for super cheap. At the market right up the way from our house I score giant bottles of Sriracha for like $2, packs of noodles for $1 and huge bags of basil for 69 cents. SIXTY NINE CENTS! Healthy and cheap? Sign me up.
- PEANUT DRESSING:
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 heaping Tbsp natural salted peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar (or honey if not vegan)
- 1/2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- splash of lime juice
- scant 1/4 tsp chili garlic sauce
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
- splash of very hot water (only if too thick)
- NOODLE BOWL:
- 1/4 box or package thin rice noodles (large handful)
- 1/4 cup uncooked extra firm tofu, patted dry and cubed
- 1/4 cup small carrots, chopped in matchsticks
- 1/4 cup diced green onion
- Sriracha and fresh basil for topping
- Prepare noodles according to package instructions – typically place in a bowl, pour boiling water over and let set for 10 minutes before draining.
- Prepare dressing by whisking together peanut butter, honey, lime juice, ginger, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce and sesame oil. If too thick add a splash of hot water and whisk once more. Set aside.
- Once noodles are cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Place on towel to dry slightly.
- Add noodles, carrots, green onion and tofu to serving bowl. Top with peanut dressing, fresh basil and sriracha and serve immediately.