It’s sad to think of life without noodles. The process of eating them is an experience in and of itself: the twirling, the slurping, the messy sauce that gets everywhere. Noodles have and always will be a special meal for me.
These spicy rice noodles are no exception. They’re soaked in broth and chili paste, then combined with sugar snap peas, red bell peppers, and herbs. It’s basically Spring in a bowl. And what I love about this meal is how versatile it becomes. Not a fan of mint? Add cilantro instead. Wanna make it vegan? Replace the eggs with tempeh. Feel free to make it yours however you wish.
Unfortunately, noodles are too often criticized as not being a “healthy” option. However, I believe noodles and pasta definitely have a place at the table. What I don’t believe makes the cut are the ingredients we tend to put in pasta such as heavy cream, cheese, tons of chicken or beef, and practically no veggies.
As always, there needs to be balance when it comes to eating healthfully. With a few tweaks, I believe any pasta dish can be transformed into a healthy dinner.
Here are a few notes on the recipe and ingredients:
- All of the ingredients were found at a regular grocery store, although I can’t guarantee you will be able to find all of them at yours (see next bullet point).
- The chili paste I used for this recipe was Sichuan Ma La Sauce, which I bought my local Kroger. However, I think Kroger is the only place that carries this sauce and it may be rather cumbersome to find. The most familiar chili paste out there is Sambal Oelek, which you can find in just about any regular grocery store in the US. I think this would be a delicious 1:1 replacement.
- Don’t be shy with the veggies, herbs, and green onion! Load up and you will also receive more nutrients as a plus.
- 4 ounces thin rice noodles
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon Asian chili paste (Sichuan Spicy Ma La Sauce or Sambal Oelek)
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 cups sugar snap peas
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup green onions, sliced
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved
- Fresh mint and basil, for garnish
- Fresh serrano peppers, for garnish
- Soak the rice noodles in hot water until softened, about 3 minutes, then drain.
- Add vegetable stock, chili paste, coconut sugar, and 2 cloves minced garlic to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boiling.
- Add noodles to stock and lower to a simmer. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the noodles are tender and silky. Turn off heat and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the sugar snap peas, red bell pepper slices, 2 cloves minced garlic, and a pinch of salt. Stir fry for about 30 seconds, or until the colors of the vegetables turn bright and vibrant. Turn off heat.
- Add noodles and the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil to the vegetables and stir to combine.
- Top with chopped fresh basil, mint, sliced green onions, and hard-boiled eggs.