These quick and easy spicy peanut noodles are perfect for those times when only warm and spicy carbs will do. And since they’re ready in just about 10-15 minutes, that can be just about any time you want!
Why you’ll love this spicy peanut noodles recipe
There is nothing like a big bowl of spicy noodles! They just seem to hit the spot when only carbs will do :) Having this little recipe in your back pocket means that all that ever stands between you and a bowl of these is 10 minutes.
All you need for this delicious bowl is noodles and a few common pantry items to make the sauce. Add some spice and if you have them, add some green onion and/or cilantro to the bowl.
Noodles – I love the ease of frozen or shelf-stable udon noodles, as they don’t need to be pre-cooked. Simply soften in a large bowl of warm water, before adding directly to the skillet. That said, you can use any noodle you have or enjoy, following any instructions for cooking on the package before adding to the skillet.
Peanut Butter – For the peanut butter, you can use smooth or crunchy. I usually just have smooth around, so I add finely chopped peanuts to sauce. If you are starting with crunchy peanut butter, you can skip them.
You can use either regular or natural peanut butter, but as natural peanut butter is drier and less creamy, it doesn’t perform quite as well in this sauce.
Chili Oil – This is where the spice comes from. If you don’t have chili oil, you can make your own by heating 2 Tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil with 1 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes over low heat just until warm. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool before using.
Alternately, use any spicy Asian sauce, such as Asian Chili Garlic Sauce, Sambal Oelek or even Sriracha. Each one is a bit different in terms of spiciness, so add a bit to start, then taste and add more, to taste.
- Gather and prepare the ingredients.
- Heat oil in skillet and cook ginger and garlic 30 seconds.
- Add sauce mixture and heat until melted and smooth.
- Add noodles and toss to coat well.
- Add additional hot water to skillet, a bit at a time, as needed, to loosen sauce.
- Add green onion and/or cilantro to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Serve with chopped peanuts and additional green onion and cilantro.
Add some spinach to the skillet and stir in until wilted (you may need a bit more water, as the spinach will absorb some of the liquid in the pan).
Stir in some cooked chicken, to add a protein to the mix.
Peanut butter sauces tend to tighten up easily (go from liquid to stiff), so enjoy these noodles freshly cooked. If necessary, loosen up the noodles with a splash of hot water.
The amount of water you need to add is variable, depending on the noodles used and the peanut butter variety. Add as much as you need to create a nice sauce that coats the noodles well.
Making Ahead and Storing
These noodles are best enjoyed freshly cooked, though you can cook the noodles ahead and refrigerate, to make it more quickly later.
Store left-overs in the fridge. To loosen the noodles up after refrigerating, add a bit of water to the noodles when reheating.
Love udon noodles? You might also enjoy … my 15 Minute Spicy Udon Stir Fry recipe.
Get the Recipe: Quick and Easy Spicy Peanut Noodles
- 5 Tbsp peanut butter , *see Note 1 below for options
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce, low sodium recommended
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, seasoned or unseasoned
- 1-2 Tbsp chili oil, *see Note 2 below for options
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup hot water, plus more, as needed
For the Stir Fry:
- 1-2 tsp cooking oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ginger paste, or 1/4 tsp fresh ginger minced, or 1/8 tsp dried ginger powder
- 12-14 oz noodles, shelf-stable or frozen, pre-soaked in warm water
- Additional hot water, as needed
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup green onion, green part only, sliced
- 2 Tbsp peanuts, finely chopped
- Sesame seeds, optional
- Additional green onion
- Additional cilantro
- Cook noodles, if using noodles that require pre-cooking. If using udon or similar noodles that only need soaking, soak in a large bowl of hot water. Drain after soaking and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients and stir a bit (it won't really come together in the bowl, but will melt together in the skillet later). Set aside.
- Heat cooking oil over medium heat in a skillet or wok on the stove-top. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 30-45 seconds. Add the sauce mixture and stir and heat, until the sauce melts. Add the noodles and toss to coat well with sauce. Add additional hot water, a Tablespoon at a time, as needed, to loosen the sauce to coat the noodles well. Stir in some of the green onion and cilantro (if using), reserving some for garnish.
- Spoon noodles in to bowl. Garnish with reserved green onion and cilantro and chopped peanuts and/or sesame seeds.
- This recipe was tested with regular peanut butter. You can use smooth or crunchy peanut butter. If you are using natural peanut butter, you will probably need to add more hot water to loosen the sauce and the texture of the sauce may be less creamy.
- Use 1 Tbsp chili oil for less spicy or 2 Tbsp for more spicy. If you don't have chili oil, you can use any spicy Asian sauce, such as Asian Chili Garlic Sauce, Sambal Oelek or Sriracha. As each varies in spiciness, add a bit to start, taste, then add more, to taste.
I really enjoyed this, but found the sauce to be waaaay too viscous (possibly my brand of peanut butter? Unsure) I added about a cup of water to dilute, and it was able to coat the noodles well (and was delicious!) Thanks for the recipe. :)
So glad you enjoyed it Julia and yes, both the peanut butter brand/type and the noodles can affect the sauce. Thanks so much!
This was amazing! The only reason I’d hesitate to make it again is because I’m dieting, and it’s not possible this is only 387 calories with that much peanut butter! I’m bookmarking this for my “cheat” meals for sure.
So glad you enjoyed it, Leslie. It is key to refer to the serving number when judging calories. This recipe makes 2 servings, so if you make it and eat only half, it will be very much in line with the stated calorie number.
IF I don’t have Chili oil, can I add Chili sauce or sriracha to the sauce instead?
Hi Hayley and yes you can. Asian chili garlic sauce or Sambal Oelek would be my first choice, but Sriracha would also work.
Hello what kind of soy sauce are you meant to use for this recipe?
I use basic low sodium Kikkoman soy sauce myself.
This is making my mouth water and it is so simple to make! Just right for the weather.
Thanks Jenny :) And yes, warming spice and lots of carbs for fuel as we battle winter!
I have a serious weak spot for oodles and oodles of udon noodles! Make those carb-a-licious bad boys, and holy moly, I could eat bowl after bowl! These look just heavenly, Jennifer! I love that these spicy, slurp-tastic noodles only take 10 minutes too! I will be making a vat of these very VERY soon!! Cheers!
Thanks Cheyanne and I have the same weakness ;)
An easy, 10-minute meal is exactly what I need. Can’t wait to make these noodles!
This is a handy recipe to have :) Thanks Laura :)
I totally agree Jennifer! There’s nothing like a big bowl of delicious spicy noodles! When I was a kid, my mom would send my sisters and I out shoveling and when we’d come in she’d have a big pot of buttered noodles for all of us! Memories!
That’s a great Mom! So true though … noodles give lots of shovelling energy :)
I’ve never tried the soft udon noodles but love the dried version. Peanuts and spicy noodles is a wonderful combination – and yes sometimes only carbs will do! I bet you do a lot of snow shoveling and need some fuel to keep warm. Extra peanuts on my bowl please!
Thanks Tricia and yes, I do a lot of snow shovelling, for sure! We have over 3 feet on the ground now and it’s still coming :)