Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles are what you make when you have less than 15 minutes to cook dinner and need a Thai fix! Using ground chicken means no meat prep – and you can substitute literally any ground meat (beef, turkey, pork).
Thai noodles with chicken and peanuts
First, let me be very frank that this is by no means an authentic Thai dish. That’s why I don’t even rank it in the collection of Thai recipes. 😂
It’s just a really tasty one skillet dinner, with minimal prep and full of Thai-inspired flavors.
Specifically, the flavors of Thai Peanut Sauce. All Thai Chicken Satay fans will love it!
What you need for Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles
Note the use of chicken hash and baby spinach here – no hash! 🙌🏻
Noodle cake (instant noodles) – Use any instant noodles or ramen you can get your hands on. We discard the seasoning packet and make our own sauce. Using instant noodle cakes is ideal as the frizzy nature of the noodles captures the chopped chicken pieces. Too, it’s indestructible 😂;
Thai red curry paste – Our flavor shortcut. There is a time and a place for homemade red curry paste. But tonight is not that! (PS. Regular readers who know I’m a bit of a snob about my favorite brand of red curry paste: Maesri. For this dish, I’m a bit more relaxed because… well, you know. Quick and easy meal mid-week and everything. Anything will do.
Ground chicken (ground chicken) – Pork and turkey are perfect substitutes, although beef works great too. I’m not sold on the lamb, but again, Lamb Satay is damn delicious!
Curry powder – Although you may think it sounds out of place, curry powder is an ingredient in Thai chicken satay. So adding a twist here adds a more authentic flavor to this totally unauthentic dish 😉. Plus, it’s a great way to add flavor to chicken hash;
Peanut Butter – It’s not peanut sauce without peanut butter! Commercial spread is fine here, although you get a more intense peanut flavor by using natural peanut butter (i.e. no added salt, sugar, or oil);
Soya sauce – For an extra touch of salt in the dish. I like to use dark soy sauce because it stains the ground chicken breast, giving it a nice color. But light and versatile soy sauce, tamari, or even mushroom soy will work just fine. Just no sweetened soy;
The vinegar – For an essential sour touch for balance (yes, it is also used in real Thai peanut sauce). I use apple cider vinegar here although normal white vinegar works well too;
Coconut milk and broth/chicken broth – Together, they make the sauce for these noodles. Plenty of fat for the coconut milk please. If you opt for low fat, don’t complain if you’re disappointed with the taste of the sauce! 😂
baby spinach – Takes only seconds to wilt and an easy way to increase veg quot. No need to chop, just toss it in this dish.
Here is a picture of what I think is the best red curry paste, by far. It also happens to be the cheapest, at around $1.50 or so per box, compared to $3+ for other brands. I use it for all my authentic Thai recipes as an alternative to homemade red curry paste.
That said, as I mentioned above, as this is a quick and easy mid-week dinner, don’t worry too much about hunting down Maesri – any brand will do fine.
How to make Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles – in 12 minutes!
One might look at the ingredients above (or how delicious the dish looks!) and think, “this can’t take 12 minutes!!“. The trick here is that the only thing you need to chop is the garlic (and the toppings) and there’s a nice workflow so you can measure the ingredients as you cook.
Oh – and yes, the noodles are cooked in the same pan as the chicken is cooked. No pre-cooking is required!
Garlic first, then cook the chicken, breaking it up as you go;
Red curry paste and soy sauce next, sautéed with the chicken to give it good flavor and color;
Broth/chicken broth next, simmered a little to get the raw flavor out;
Then smash the noodle cakes, submerging them as best you can;
Cook the noodle cake 45 seconds on one side, flip, cook another 30 seconds, then break them up;
Add the rest of the sauce ingredients: coconut milk, peanut butter and vinegar. Then give it a good bang;
Finally add the baby spinach at the very end. It won’t take much more than about 30 seconds to wither; and
Serve it! NB. You can garnish with peanuts and fresh cilantro before or after serving. I’ve been known to do both. 🙂 Also, a good squirt of Sriracha chili sauce won’t go astray!
This is a dish meant to be a quick meal, so you don’t have to worry about adding a side dish or the like to put your greens on. You can be very generous with baby spinach because it wilts into nothing.
Also, it’s more saucey than other quick noodle/ramen meals I’ve shared before (like the Asian ground beef, chicken and veggie, and mushroom). Because, well, you know. Thai peanut sauce? We never have enough !! 😂 –Nagi x
Watch how to do it
Note: error in the video! Soy sauce is shown added to coconut milk. Soy sauce should only be added with the chicken!
12 Minute Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles
Preperation: 3 minutes
To cook: 9 minutes
Tap or hover to scale
Sauté the garlic: Heat the oil in a medium skillet over high heat (not too large, otherwise the sauce will evaporate too quickly). Add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds until golden.
Cook the chicken: Add the ground chicken and cook for 2 minutes, breaking it up as you go, until it turns pink to white.
Add aromas: Add 1 tablespoon of red curry paste, curry powder and soy sauce. Cook for 1 minute.
Cook the additional curry paste: Clear a space in the middle of the pan, add the remaining 1/2 tbsp curry paste, stir the curry paste for 30 seconds.
Simmered broth: Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil then reduce to medium-high heat. Let simmer for 1 minute.
Add noodles: Smash the noodle cakes, pushing the chicken aside so the noodles are as submerged as possible.
Cook 45 sec, flip, 30 sec: Cook for 45 seconds, then flip the noodles. Leave for another 30 seconds, then separate the noodles with 2 wooden spoons.
Add peanut sauce: Push the noodles aside, add the coconut milk, peanut butter, and vinegar, then stir quickly to dissolve most of the peanut butter.
Mix with spinach: Add spinach, toss with noodles for 30 seconds until wilted. Make sure it’s still pretty sassy – everyone loves sauce!
To serve: Transfer to serving bowls, sprinkle with cilantro, peanuts and Sriracha or chili paste if desired.
2. Curry powder – Any brand or type is fine here, it’s not a key ingredient. Your choice of using mild or spicy (I use mild).
3. Red curry paste – The best Thai red curry paste (in my opinion) is Maesri which comes in small boxes and also happens to be the cheapest. Sold in major supermarkets in Australia (Coles, Woolies, Harris Farms), Asian stores. Ayam brand is also ok, but I don’t recommend Valcom (too sweet).
4. Dark soy sauce – Gives color, salt and flavor intensity to chicken. If you don’t have dark sauce, any soy sauce you have is fine.
5. Noodles – This is a recipe designed for the convenience of noodle cakes, instant noodles, ramen. Mix the seasoning packet – we make our own flavors here! If you don’t want to waste the seasoning, turn it into a quick soup! Just add leftover meat/seafood, vegetables, rice, etc.
6. Food per serving.
calories: 581callus (29%)Carbohydrates: 14g (5%)Protein: 31g (62%)Fat: 48g (74%)Saturated fat: 22g (138%)Cholesterol: 86mg (29%)Sodium: 950mg (41%)Potassium: 1209mg (35%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 4g (4%)Vitamin A: 4585UI (92%)Vitamin C: 11mg (13%)Calcium: 84mg (8%)The iron: 6mg (33%)
The life of the bulldozer
Bulldozer at work.