Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad With Cucumbers, Red Peppers, and Basil (Vegan) Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

I still have a soft spot for cold peanut noodles. These days, I make them with far fewer noodles and many more vegetables. Indeed, it's now more of a vegetable salad with a few noodles added in for textural contrast. A handful of fresh herbs rounds out the flavors.

Note: Fresh Chinese wheat noodles are available in most Asian markets. 1/4 pound dried linguini, fettucini, or spaghetti can be substituted if fresh Chinese noodles are unavailable.

Recipe Facts



Active: 15 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 8 ounces fresh Chinese noodles (see notes)

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons fresh ground chili sauce (such as Huy Fong brand Sambal Oelek or Sriracha), more or less to taste

  • 2 tablespoons juice from 2 limes (or rice wine vinegar)

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil

  • 1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane grater

  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey

  • 3 tablespoons warm water

To Assemble:

  • 2 large red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, sliced into thin strips

  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and sliced into fine julienne or small half moons

  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, mint, or cilantro leaves

  • 8 scallions, finely sliced at a severe bias to create long, thin strips

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, sliced into fine strips

  • 1 to 2 red Thai bird chiles, finely minced (optional)

  • 1/2 cup roughly crushed roasted peanuts


  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Agitate noodles until thoroughly chilled. Set aside while you make the dressing.

  2. In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, chili sauce, lime juice, sesame seed oil, garlic, sugar or honey, and water. Whisk until homogeneous. Drain noodles thoroughly and add to bowl. Add bell peppers, cucumber, bean sprouts, basil leaves, scallions, jalapeños, and bird chilis (if using). Toss to combine. Serve immediately, topped with roasted peanuts.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
495 Calories
30g Fat
46g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 495
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1132mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 124mg 622%
Calcium 97mg 7%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 875mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)