amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Peanut vegetable curry with brown rice noodles

POSTED ON November 12, 2010

peanut vegetable curry with brown rice noodles

This is one of those dishes that turned out perfectly without any tinkering or finishing touches; a meal you can’t stop eating because it takes at a whole bowl’s worth to decipher how the myriad flavors and textures play off one other so well.

But, it could have gone in the opposite direction very easily because I started out not knowing exactly what I might make. Was it going to be the fall miso soup I have been meaning to post or a Thai curry to make good use of the extra lemongrass and lime leaves I so rarely have on hand.  It could have been a peanut sauce with brown rice noodles that has been at the back of my mind for ages. Then there’s the famous “curry rice noodle soup” that has been requested for almost a decade by a certain someone and always seems to come up when rice noodles make an appearance in the kitchen.


brown rice fettuccini

This dish is actually a combination of all of the above, which is why it could have headed south very easily. Instead it was everything I wanted and more, and I wondered why on earth I hadn’t made anything like it before. The meal was a perfect antidote to the blustering cold night outside and this bowl of deliciousness made me love the fact that suddenly it felt like winter and I was cozy inside.

homemade curry powder, lemongrass, garlic, Thai chilis & Kafir lime leaves

It is a great combination of warm heat from the curry and chilis and heady fragrance from the lemongrass and lime leaves. The squash adds sweetness and peanut butter brings just enough richness to the broth coating the noodles in a velvety fall-like cloak (in this season’s must have mustard color!)

After the initial stop and start of decision making, the meal all came together in about half an hour.


cooking onions, ginger, garlic and lemongrass

sugar snap peas

simmering broth

up close

Peanut vegetable curry with brown rice noodles

Here I used crunchy peanut butter and enjoyed the added texture, but smooth will work just as well. When cooking brown rice noodles be sure to use a large pot with ample water and to stir them every couple of minutes as they stick together very easily. They also need to be rinsed well after cooking to avoid clumping.

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 inch piece ginger, minced

Large pinch sea salt

1 stalk lemongrass

2 small Thai chilies, finely sliced, most seeds removed

4 Kafir lime leaves

2 teaspoons homemade curry powder

1/3 of a medium squash, in ¾ inch cubes

1 medium carrot, sliced

2 medium Japanese turnips, cut in large wedges

4 cups filtered water

1 medium leek, sliced

10 sugar snap peas, cut in half

4 tablespoons peanut butter

2 large handfuls spinach leaves, chopped

1 14 oz package Brown rice fettuccini or other brown rice noodle, I used 3/4 of the package

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook brown rice noodles for about 12 minutes or until tender, drain and rinse well with cold water, drain again and then return to pot and set aside.

Warm oil in a medium size saucepan over high heat. Add onion and sauté for a couple of minutes. Lower heat and stir in garlic, ginger and salt and continue cooking for a few minutes more.

Remove outer edge of the lemongrass stalk, finely slice bottom inch and chop the rest of the stalk into 3 inch pieces, add it all to the pot. Stir in chilies, lime leaves, curry powder, squash, carrots, turnips and water.

Stir in leeks and sugar snap peas. Remove about a cup of broth and place it in a bowl with the peanut butter, stir until smooth and creamy and then return to pot. Once the peas are tender, add spinach leaves and season to taste.

Add about half a cup of the broth to the pot with cooked noodles and gently warm, place in bowls and ladle vegetables and broth over noodles.

Serves 4.

POSTED IN Gluten free, Mains

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  • Megan says:

    Yumm, that looks delicious! Just the sort of recipe I’ll be bookmarking for the coming Winter… 🙂

  • Pamela says:

    Perfect timing, Amy! I buy butternut squash all the time while it’s in season (can’t help myself) but am tired of my risotto. This looks gorgeous! Mille grazie!

  • Looks great! I love lemongrass, adds so much flavor to dishes!!

  • Emma says:

    This looks so flavourful and healthy!

  • Lidia says:

    What a lovely dish!I will be trying this for sure!

  • rosalia says:

    Really yummy. I made it although I had to substitute some ingredients because I didn’t have some on hand. I didn’t have lemongrass, Japanese turnips, snap peas and leeks. I substituted with beets, a potato, few peas and a bit of lemon juice. It was delicious all the same. I will make again with the suggested ingredients

  • Rachel says:

    This came out great, except that the lemongrass was hard and inedible, even though i cut it up smaller than suggested. Maybe this is the wrong time of year for fresh lemongrass? got it at the farmers market in a big bunch but it looks dry.
    i used kabocha squash and also added a can of coconut milk – yummy.

  • rosa says:

    Just to appreciate more of your to-die-for recipes, I want to say that these noodles were plate-scrapingly delicious. Everyone enjoyed them- to the very last noodle! I used soba noodles, potatoes instead of squash and lime zest/juice instead of lime leaves (some things are a little difficult to get here in Italy). The leaves look beautiful though, and make me very curious!

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