If I owned a grocery store, I would stock latex gloves next to the fresh chile peppers. Why? Because I ALWAYS forget to buy them when I’m grocery shopping, and I always wish I had them when my fingers are stinging and I’ve forgotten I shouldn’t rub my eyes after chopping peppers. Someday I will learn my lesson and buy a case to have on hand at all times.
But until then, stinging fingers and eyes are just part of the sacrifice I’m willing to make for delicious spicy food. This is a zippy, fresh tasting recipe that makes the most of spring vegetables available right now. I love how the cold rice noodles are balanced by the hot, spicy stir-fried veggies. If you are not a fan of spicy food, you can use less (or leave out) the fresh chiles.
Spicy Thai Noodles with Spring Veggies
(adapted from Cooking Light)
7 oz. (1/2 package) flat rice noodles
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. walnut oil (or peanut oil)
1 1/2 tbsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 serrano or Thai chiles, finely chopped (use less if you don’t like it spicy)
2 cups snow peas
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (or more) unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
To cook noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and submerge noodles. Let sit in the hot water for about 10 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large serving bowl. Add radishes, green onions, basil, cilantro, mint, lime juice and fish sauce. Toss.
In a large skillet, heat walnut or peanut oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic, ginger and chiles. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Increase heat to medium, add veggies and salt to pan. Continue to cook and stir about 3-4 minutes, until veggies are crisp-tender. Add to noodle mixture, toss well to combine. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.