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Why This Recipe Works

This noodle bowl, inspired by the sweet, savory, and spicy flavors of Southeast Asia, is a real stunner, boasting a colorful medley of simple but texturally interesting toppings. We combined tender rice noodles with savory edamame, tangy lightly pickled carrots, and crunchy cabbage, and we draped it all with a rich peanut sauce that's a little spicy, a little sweet, and enlivened with a hint of curry powder for aromatic appeal. Instead of taking the time to pickle our carrots in advance of making the dish, we simply added seasoned rice vinegar to shredded carrots and let them sit while the rice noodles soaked and softened. After the 20-minute noodle soaking period, we started the cooking process by first quickly sautéing the edamame just until it was speckled brown but still maintained a tender-crisp texture and fresh flavor. After removing the edamame from the skillet, we finished cooking the noodles in the same pan with half of our sauce and some water until the noodles were perfectly tender and chewy. Cooking the noodles in the sauce lightly glazed and flavored them. After topping our noodle bowls with the veggies, we added plenty of garnishes—fragrant Thai basil, chopped peanuts, lime wedges, and a light pour of additional sauce were the perfect finish.

Serves 4 to 6

If you can't find Thai basil you can substitute regular basil. We prefer the flavor of seasoned ricevinegar to pickle the carrots in this recipe.

1 cup shredded carrots
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
12 ounces (¼-inch wide) rice noodles
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup frozen edamame
1 recipe Curried Peanut Sauce (see recipe below)
1 cup shredded red cabbage
⅓ cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
2 tablespoons torn fresh Thai basil
Lime wedges

1. Combine carrots and vinegar in small bowl; set aside. Cover noodles with very hot tap water in large bowl and stir to separate. Let noodles soak until softened, pliable, and limp but not fully tender, about 20 minutes. Drain noodles.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add edamame and cook until spotty brown but still bright green, about 2 minutes; transfer to bowl. In now-empty skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until shimmering, add drained noodles, 1¼ cups water, and ½ cup peanut sauce and cook until sauce has thickened slightly and noodles are well coated and tender, about 1 minute.

3. Divide noodles among individual serving bowls, then top with carrots, edamame, and cabbage. Drizzle with remaining peanut sauce, sprinkle with peanuts and basil, and serve with lime wedges.

 

Curried Peanut Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

For a spicier sauce, add the jalapeño ribs and seeds. Unseasoned rice vinegar will work in this recipe if you can't find seasoned.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Thai, serrano, or jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1½ teaspoons curry powder
½ cup water, plus extra as needed
⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon organic sugar 

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in Thai chiles, garlic, ginger, and curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in water, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and flavors meld, about 2 minutes. Adjust consistency as needed with additional water. Transfer sauce to bowl.

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