Growing up in Northern Florida, I was a little sheltered when it came to food. Then I moved to New York City, which automatically made me a food connoisseur… HA! (not even close). I was soooo adventurous because I was now eating sushi (raw fish can you imagine?!) instead of fried cod and Pad Thai (obviously the most adventurous Thai food you can get) instead of stir fried chicken and broccoli. In fact, it wasn’t until I was at a Thai restaurant and one of my friends said dryly, “Lemme guess—the Pad Thai?”, when I decided to venture out and try something else. After 10 years of tasting and testing different cuisines whenever I can—I still associate all Thai food with some sort of peanut sauce and noodles (I think we can all agree peanut sauce makes everything taste better).
But in reality, Thai food is more about fish sauces, curries, and chilies. They actually got peanuts from the good ol’ U. S. of A. And it wasn’t until they had a rice shortage during World War II, that noodles became a major part of Thai cuisine….
Sorry… I tend to get a little “curry-ed” away when it comes to the history of food (see what I did there!).
The point of that little lesson is that I realize that this isn’t really a traditional “Thai” recipe. But it’s got peanuts and noodles, so in my head it is. And besides I DID put the recipe title in quotes okay?!
Anywho—back to the recipe…
I used bucatini pasta instead of rice noodles or glass noodles in this dish because obviously, that makes it more authentic. No, no seriously though, I like using bucatini because 1. It’s my favorite, and 2. It holds sauces really well because of its hollow middle. If you’ve never tried them—you must! They’re amazing.
I love this recipe because the flavors meld so well together and I think you’ll love it because not only does it taste phenomenal, but it comes together with very little effort and minimal cooking.
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Marinate: 15 minutes | Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: ~6 cups
~5 oz bucatini pasta (~1/3 of a 16 oz box)
¼ green cabbage (3-4 cups shredded)
1 granny smith apple, chopped into ½ cubes
1 red pepper, chopped into ½ cubes
4 scallions, sliced
1 lime, reserve ½ cutting it into wedges to garnish
2 tsp sesame seeds
¼ cup chopped peanuts for garnish (opt.)
¼ cup rice vinegar
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
½ cup reduced fat chunky peanut butter
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup HOT water
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta ~10 minutes (cooking time will vary if using a different pasta). Drain.
2. Meanwhile combine all dressing ingredients together and whisk until smooth. (Make sure the water is hot or it won’t mix very well.)
3. Juice ½ of lime and cut remainder of lime into wedges reserving for garnish. Add the lime juice to dressing.
4. Combine cabbage, apple, red pepper, scallions, sesame seeds, and pasta in a large bowl. Add dressing. Toss to combine and allow to marinate X ~15 minutes or until pasta has cooled to room temperature.
5. Serve topped with chopped peanuts and lime wedges.
The Cook’s 2 Cents:
· This dish is not supposed to be served warm. I’ve found that the marinating time works out to be just about when the pasta has cooled to room temperature.
· This sauce can get pretty strong the longer it sits. I made this one time a day ahead and almost spit it out because the flavors were too strong! I would recommend allowing it to marinate up to 30 minutes max. If you want to make ahead of time, wait to add the dressing until just prior to serving.
· I realize buying a whole head of cabbage, if you don’t usually cook with it, may not be ideal. Alternatively, you can buy the bagged coleslaw mix and use that (it will be about ½ the bag).
· I’ve tried this with different types of apples and I think granny smith creates the best flavor.
· I like to use chunky peanut butter instead of creamy because I think it give the dish a better texture. But it’s totally up to you!
Serving Size: 1 cup
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Calories: 366 Fat: 20g Sodium: 1096mg Carbs: 46g Fiber: 5g Sugars: 17g Protein: 12