Spicy Peanut Noodles with Garlicky Shrimp

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Shrimp recipe by SeasonwithSpice.com

There is always leftover peanut sauce

That’s not because of a lack of flavor.  The crunchy, spicy, rich sauce – that accompanies sticks of grilled chicken satay at every street market in Malaysia – is dug into by everyone at the table, who bump shoulders, and the occasional flying elbows, to ensure their skewers of chicken are coated and dripping with gravy. 

Unless someone gets a skewer in the eye, it’s all for fun.  There could be no other explanation since there has never been a shortage of peanut sauce at the table.  When the satay is gone – the wooden sticks piled on one side of a plastic plate – you are invariably left with half a bucket of sauce. 

That’s why satay is best enjoyed at home, where you can explore the cupboards and refrigerator, searching for anything to dip – bread, crackers, tofu, cucumber, long beans.  If it still isn’t used up, the remaining sauce might end up on a plate of steamed rice, or mixed in with noodles like I’ve done here with Spicy Peanut Noodles with Garlicky Shrimp.

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Shrimp by SeasonwithSpice.com

For a mean, authentic satay peanut sauce, you need to make a fresh, homemade spice paste, as well as wok-fry the peanuts (skin-on).  But that takes time not many of us have for preparing lunch or dinner.  So let’s keep this simple – it’s getting mixed into noodles anyway – by substituting in mostly dry spices, and omitting the peanut frying step. 

Just crush some unsalted peanuts with a mortar & pestle or food processor, and you’re ready to start (make a big batch, since they are handy to toss into Southeast Asian salads, noodle dishes, and desserts).

crushed peanuts for peanut sauce

For the spices, use a base of fresh ginger and garlic, combined with curry powder, ground turmeric, and red chili flakes.

aromatic spices for satay peanut sauce

And for a truly Southeast Asian flavor in this Spicy Peanut Noodles with Garlicky Shrimp, go ahead and add in some lemongrass, shallots, and toasted shrimp paste too.  Not essential for creating a tasty peanut sauce, but well worth it if you have them in the kitchen. 

Once the spicy peanut sauce is ready, mix in the noodles and top with succulent, wild caught shrimp. This might be the first time, there won’t be any leftover peanut sauce on the table...

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Shrimp recipe by SeasonwithSpice.com

buy best quality curry powder from season with spice shop

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Garlicky Shrimp 
by Season with Spice
Serves 2

2 servings of thin-style Asian noodles (such as thin egg noodles, thin udon or thin ramen)
3 tbsp peanut oil or any neutral tasting vegetable oil
8-10 large shrimp – deveined & peeled
4-5 garlic cloves – finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger – minced
1 tsp of red chili flakes
1 tbsp of Season with Spice's Sweet & Spicy Curry Powder
1/4 tsp of Season with Spice's ground turmeric
1 1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts – crushed
1 tbsp less-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp of sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup cilantro – freshly chopped
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
2 dashes of sesame oil
Cucumber slices as a side (optional)

* Variations: 
1 lemongrass stalk – white part only, chopped finely
1 medium shallot – minced
1 tsp toasted shrimp paste

1. Following the package directions, cook noodles until al dente. Be careful not to overcook so the noodles retain a springiness when added to the peanut sauce. Set aside.
2. Heat a wok or a large frying pan, and add in a tablespoon of oil and the shrimp. Cook about two minutes on one side over medium-high heat. Then add in one tablespoon of the chopped garlic, stir, and cook the shrimp on the other side for a minute or two until golden brown on the edges. Set aside.
3. Wipe the wok/pan clean with a paper towel. Heat up again, and add in the rest of the oil and garlic, as well as the ginger, red chili flakes, curry powder and turmeric. Stir over low-medium heat for about 30-40 seconds until fragrant. Then stir in the crushed peanuts, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar. Finally, add in the coconut milk and chopped cilantro. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens to desired consistency. Add in sesame oil and squeeze in lime juice.
4. Immediately add in the noodles, stir well to coat, and cook for a further 30 seconds over medium heat to allow the noodles to absorb the sauce. Turn heat off. Place the spicy peanut noodles in each serving bowl and top with the garlicky shrimp. Garnish with more crushed peanuts and chopped cilantro.

- If using fresh lemongrass and shallots, add them in at the beginning of Step 3, together with the garlic, ginger and dry spices. The toasted shrimp paste can be added in together with the crushed peanuts.