These spicy sambal peanut noodles will become your favorite new recipe to spice up a weeknight! Brown rice noodles tossed in a creamy sauce full of sambal chili flavor, ginger & garlic, peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, and plenty of other bold ingredients. Topped with simple pan-roasted shrimp, lots of herbs, and crunchy peanuts…this is such a vibrant dish that comes together so easily.
spicy sambal peanut noodles – the details
I’ve made these spicy sambal peanut noodles at least five times now. The recipe quickly has become a part of my regular weekly dinner rotation for two reasons – it’s a fast-cooking dish and it’s absolutely DELICIOUS.
I love the balance between cozy and fresh. A big bowl of noodles always hits the comforting note, yet the flavors are really bright and vibrant.
My main tip for this dish is to prep all of the ingredients before you start cooking. Slice the red peppers, slice the shallots and chili pepper, mince the garlic and ginger, prep the toppings, and have all of the other ingredients out and ready to go. This will make it so much easier to seamlessly pull everything together.
You’ll start the sauce first by sauteing the vegetables and layering in the different aromatic elements. A little tomato paste adds a sweet richness and the sambal oelek (an Indonesian chili sauce) brings the heat. I don’t find sambal to be incredibly spicy on it’s own, so I’m using the red fresno chili pepper to add extra spice. You can omit this if you want the sauce to be on the milder side.
Peanut butter and coconut milk go in next, and from here the sauce simmers as the rice noodles cook. They take about five minutes, which is just enough time to cook off the shrimp. All that’s needed is a quick sear in a hot skillet to result in slightly charred and tender shrimp.
You’ll add the noodles straight to the sauce and toss until coated. A squeeze of lime juice over both the shrimp and the noodles is the perfect bright finishing touch.
And lastly, plate it all up with plenty of toppings – crunchy peanuts, fresh chives, basil leaves, and freshly cracked black pepper for a final kick of heat!Print
Spicy Sambal Peanut Noodles with Pan-Roasted Shrimp
brown rice noodles tossed in a spicy sambal peanut sauce and topped with pan-roasted shrimp
- ¾ lb brown rice noodles
- 1 ½ lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled + deveined
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic
- kosher salt
- olive oil
- 1 large red pepper, cored + very thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 small red fresno pepper, thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 3 tbsp sambal oelek chili sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1 (13.5 fl oz) can coconut milk
- 2 limes
- ¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts
- 2 tbsp minced chives
- basil leaves
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the brown rice noodles for 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside. Meanwhile, add the shrimp to a small bowl. Sprinkle the granulated garlic and a pinch of salt over top. Toss to combine and set aside.
- Heat a 12” stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add the red pepper. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring often. Add the shallots and fresno pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for another 8 minutes or so until caramelized and tender, adding more oil if needed.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt. Continue to cook for another minute. Whisk in the sambal oelek, tomato paste, peanut butter, and coconut milk. Once combined, bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a 12” cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom. Once hot, sear the shrimp in an even layer until slightly charred and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer a large spoonful of sauce plus the juice of 1 lime to the skillet and toss to coat the shrimp.
- Add the noodles to the sauce. Add the juice of the remaining lime. Toss to coat and heat the noodles. Taste and season with salt if needed.
- Plate the noodles with the shrimp over top. Garnish with the roasted peanuts, chives, basil leaves, and freshly cracked black pepper.