Dinner, Grains/Legumes, Noodles/pasta

Thai Pesto with Brown Rice Noodles

Thai Pest with Brown Rice Noodles

This dish has a history that is connected to two other dishes. The two dishes were last summer favorites and they were a pesto recipe from Saveur magazine, Trofie al Pesto, that called for green beans and potatoes. It is, and still is, by far my favorite Italian pesto dish. The second dish comes from Momofuku, a favorite cookbook, and it is a recipe called Scallion Noodles.

What both dishes do is chop or process the pesto ingredients fine enough that when tossed with hot noodles they cook. One of the things I don’t like about most pesto dishes is the raw garlic taste that you carry with you the rest of the meal and maybe even the rest of the day. These two recipes have solved that problem.

The pesto created here carries on with the finely chopped tradition but is also packed with a little more unami by its use of the traditional Thai flavors of fish sauce and lime.

If you want to round out this meal a steamer tray full of potstickers and a Thai style salad would definitely do the trick.

Note: if you wanted to add heat to this simply crumble or cut with scissors strips of dried cayenne pepper over the top of the finished dish.

Serves 4

12 oz. fresh brown rice noodles, rice noodles or spaghetti

16 green onions, trimmed of roots and washed

1/3 cup cilantro

1/3 cup fresh mint

2 to 3 teaspoons garlic, minced

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1/8 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

1/3 cup or more of a neutral flavored oil


lightly salted peanuts, roughly crushed

1. In the bowl of a food processor add the green onions, cilantro, mint, garlic, and fish sauce. Pulse the mixture a few times and then scrap down the sides of the bowl. Season it with a pinch or two of salt but go easy because the fish sauce is salty.

2. Add the lime juice. Turn the processor on and while running drizzle in the oil. Scrap down the sides of the processor bowl as necessary. Set the pesto aside.

3. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain the noodles and while they are hot dump them into a big bowl. Toss the noodles with the pesto, plate, garnish with the peanuts and more cilantro, serve.


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