These spicy and smooth peanut butter noodles are the perfect way to enjoy fresh green beans. The squeaky beans provide bursts of freshness amongst the silky rice noodles.
I’m writing this in early August and my veg patch has exploded with green beans. The back border of my garden is filled thick with a mass of climbing beans. It’s a joy to behold.
French beans are one of my favourite summer vegetables. You’ll find me many an evening munching on freshly picked green beans strolling around the garden in the evening sun. There’s nothing quite like a fresh and crisp green bean.
Fresh beans are great, but blanched or steamed green beans are where it’s at. Squeaky and hot French beans, fresh from the pan are heaven.
What better way to enjoy crunchy green beans then with a smooth peanut butter noodles. The fresh sweet bite of the green beans work so well with the rich peanut butter sauce.
Now I know I’m probably biased, but these noodles are absolutely glorious. You won’t be disappointed by how delicious this dish tastes. It works both hot or cold. Now let’s jump into how to make it.
How to make peanut butter noodles
A rich and thick peanut butter sauce is key to a delicious peanut butter noodles. There are 3 key pieces that make the sauce taste amazing:
- Lime juice
- Quality peanut butter
The sour and tart lime juice elevates the peanut flavour of the sauce. When you taste the sauce you’ll first have a zingy hit of lime and then a thick peanut taste coming through. It makes the sauce take on further dimensions and not just be one note.
Using a quality peanut butter is crucial to having a great tasting sauce. Find a peanut butter that is 100% natural and just contains peanuts and salt. Other ingredients will mess with the balance of the sauce and make it taste wrong. I like to use pip and nut peanut butter.
The last important piece to delicious tasting peanut butter noodles is cornflour. This magic ingredient is going to thicken up your peanut sauce so that it clings to the noodles and delivers maximum flavour. Without this your sauce will be too watery and just fall to the bottom of the noodle dish.
Crunchy not limp green beans
There is no greater sin know to man then overcooking fresh veggies. Overcooked green beans are tired and soggy, far from their crunchy and fresh deliciousness. Green beans only need a very small amount of time to cook. When whole I blanch them for 2-3 minutes until they just start to darken. They’ll be aldente, crisp and taste delicious.
Seasonal tips for these peanut butter noodles
Green beans are at their best in the UK from mid summer until the beginning of autumn. Outside these months most green beans are imported from Africa. In particular Kenya or Egypt. Instead of buying these imported beans, save a few food miles are swap out the summer superstars for something a little bit more in season.
Winter brassicas work just as well in this dish as the beans. Kales, curly or cavolo nero, are excellent sliced and tossed with the silky rice noodles. Brussel sprouts halved and pan fried are another option.
Spring onions can easily be substituted for leeks. Use the greener parts of the leek, sliced and fried as an alternative in the winter months.
The pea season can be quite expansive in the UK. My garden mangetout peas produced crop from April all the way through to August and would have continued with successional planting. In the winter months I’d substitute these for frozen peas or simply omit.
This meal is around 94% less polluting than the average UK meal.
- Eating this recipe will save around 2.76 KG CO2e per person.
- That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 22.85 KM in a modern car.
- 200 g Flat Rice Noodles
- 1 Lime (juiced)
- 4 Cloves Garlic (finely minced)
- 1 Green Chili (minced, remove the seeds if you want the dish less spicy)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter (crunchy or smooth)
- 80 g Mangetout Peas
- 100 g Spring Onions (finely sliced)
- 200 g Green Beans (finely sliced )
- 2 Teaspoons Cornflour
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 300 ml Vegetable Stock
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 80 g Peanuts (roughly chopped)
- Preheat your oven to 200c/390f (fan oven).
- Pour the 80g of roughly chopped peanuts onto a small baking tray. Place into the oven and roast for 8 minutes until golden and crunchy. Reserve until needed.
- Add the 200g of rice noodles to a mixing bowl and cover with freshly boiled water. Leave to sit for 5 minutes until the noodles are soft and chewy. Drain and reserve.
- Heat the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Toss in the 4 minced garlic cloves and minced green chilli. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the garlic takes on a little colour.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, lime juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 2 teaspoons of cornflour to the pan. Stir to combine into a thick sauce.
- Pour in the 300ml of vegetable stock and bring the pan to the boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often until the sauce has become gloopy and thick. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a vigorous boil. Toss in the 80g of mangetout and 200g of sliced green beans and blanch for 1 minute. Drain the vegetables then add to the peanut butter sauce along with the cooked rice noodles and 100g of sliced spring onions. Toss well to combine.
- Serve the noodles with the roast peanuts heaped over the top of each dish.