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Thai-Style Noodles with Peanut and Cucumber Sauce
Traditional Asian noodle dishes, especially from Thailand, have become American restaurant instant classics. Make this quick dish a classic in your kitchen.

4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh hot chili pepper
1/3 cup peeled, seeded, cucumber, cut in 1/3-inch dice
2 tablespoons shredded mint leaves plus extra leaves for garnish
1 tablespoon shredded cilantro leaves plus extra leaves for garnish
1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon chopped inner core of fresh lemon-grass (optional)
8 ounces dried noodles (you may use Thai sen lek, Japanese kishimen, or dried Italian fettuccine)

1. Combine all the ingredients except the noodles in a mixing bowl. Mix well, and let sit for a few minutes.
2. Drop the noodles in a pot of boiling water. When the noodles are al dente, drain them in a colander, divide them among 4 bowls, and top each with a quarter of the peanut mixture. Garnish each bowl with a tablespoon or so of mixed mint and cilantro leaves.

Of all the great Asian noodle traditions Americans have discovered, none has had as much impact as the Thai tradition. Such dishes as pad thai and mee krob became instant restaurant classics. Here is a simple and quick recipe that can become classic in your kitchen as well. Serves 4 as an appetizer