Summer meals at my house generally revolve around some kind of grilled meat and a cold salad on the side. Be it pasta, potato or fruit salad --I like something refreshing and tasty to complement the main dish. If you’re serving an Asian inspired meal, try this twist on pasta salad…Warm Thai Basil Noodles. It’s a bit sweet and spicy and sure to please adults and kids alike.
Growing up, my parents loved to experiment with offering different ethnic cuisine to our enormous clan (aka “the dirty dozen”). Not all dishes were met with enthusiastic praise, but we universally enjoyed the various Asian meals they prepared. There was the time my Dad was toasting dried red chiles in the wok in preparation for a spicy Kung Pao Chicken when he burst out of the kitchen coughing and wheezing, only to plunge back in again after a lungful of air. This was repeated once more before the whole house was racing to open every door and window to air out the caustic, burning odor of peppers. Never mind it was the middle of winter in Michigan. I still get the giggles remembering his commitment to authenticity while preparing new recipes. I don’t think you’ll need to clear the kitchen (or the whole house) to prepare this recipe, but it may inspire you to try something a little different for your meal tonight.
To get started, assemble the necessary ingredients. I like to substitute whole wheat linguine to “up” the health benefits of my pasta, but regular linguine noodles work just as well.
Cook your noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.
Chop the ginger and place in a small bowl.
Add the honey, fresh lime juice, melted butter, salt and red pepper flakes (no need to toast these until you choke). If you happen to have fish sauce on hand, substitute this for the salt for a more authentic Thai flavor. (It’s a condiment readily available in the Asian aisle of your market.)
Chop the basil and cilantro and add to the rest of the sauce ingredients. If you can find Thai basil, try using that in place of traditional sweet basil. It has a nice peppery, licorice taste that holds its flavor better when cooked. Luckily, I’ve got three varieties of basil in my garden this summer, so I sometimes combine them to accommodate the ½ cup needed.
With the sauce complete, it’s time to prepare the vegetables. Remove any strings from the pea pods and cut in half.
Cut carrots into small 1/8” matchsticks. Sometimes you can find these ready-made at the store. I like to just use my veggie peeler to make ribbons out of the carrots and toss them in a minute after the pea pods have started cooking.
Finally, chop 1 teaspoon of fresh garlic.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet (no wok needed!) over medium-high heat until sizzling before adding the pea pods, garlic and carrots. Cook until crisply tender (about 3 minutes).
Stir in the cooked noodles and sauce and continue cooking until heated through (another 2 minutes).
Top with sliced green onion and chopped peanuts are another nice touch. Fresh and delicious!
I hope you enjoy these Warm Thai Basil Noodles, I’d love to hear any comments you’d like to share.
Check back in a few days when Bridget will share a tasty blueberry bread.
Emily is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.