Every week I carve out a couple of hours for menu planning. I have to create 3 different menus every week, including one for myself. It's a challenge already to think of dishes for other people but it can be especially difficult when planning my own dinner. I want something quick and easy but still satisfying enough to reward myself for a hard day's work. Just when I thought I ran out of ideas, I decided to whip up sweet and spicy Thai noodles with leftover veggies. The results? A comforting noodle dish that delivers on flavor. This meal was right on the money, so much so that I added it to the menu for next week.
Sweet and Spicy Thai Noodles
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sambal
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- juice of ½ lime
Udon noodle stir fry
- 1 zucchini
- 2 bell peppers sliced
- 1 head broccoli
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 3 packs udon noodles
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- ¼ cup Thai basil chopped
- ¼ cup peanuts roasted, chopped
- Make the sauce for the noodles by mixing together 2 tablespoon fish sauce, 2 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon sambal, 1 tablespoon rice wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and the juice of ½ lime. Set aside.
- Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Slice each half into ¼ inch thick slices. Slice the bell peppers and cut 1 head broccoli into small florets.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, bell peppers and broccoli and saute until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and udon noodles. Pour ¼ cup water and cover the pan. Let simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook until the water evaporates, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the sauce and toss to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for another minute. Season the stir fry with salt and pepper. Top noodles with cilantro, Thai basil and peanuts and serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I don't know about you but just looking at this bowl of sweet and spicy Thai noodles makes me want to have it again. It's such an easy recipe that I just might make it a regular dinner!
The key behind this dish is the balance of flavors in the sauce. Fish sauce and soy sauce add the saltiness, brown sugar the sweet, sambal the spicy, and vinegar and lime the tart. If you want more spicy, increase the amount of sambal. I personally prefer to drizzle more sambal right before eating but to each their own.
Once you have the sauce nailed down, it's all about just adding whatever ingredients you like. I happened to have bell peppers, zucchini, and broccoli on hand but you can add whatever vegetables you prefer. Carrots, bok choy, napa cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, they all work. You can also add any protein of your choice, I just happened to make mine vegetarian.
Saute all the vegetables with ginger and garlic until they're beautifully browned. Add the udon noodles and a splash of water and simmer everything together until the vegetables and noodles are done.
Add the sauce and let everything simmer for another minute, allowing the noodles to soak up all that flavor.
Finish the stir fry with fresh cilantro, Thai basil, and toasted peanuts. You can also serve the noodles with extra lime wedges for added zing.
The combination of the sauce, fresh vegetables, and fresh herbs take these sweet and spicy Thai noodles to the next level. So easy and delicious!
For more Thai food inspiration check out this red seafood curry risotto!