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I know what you’re thinking, Pesto definitely does not come from Vietnam. And you would be correct, we can thank Italy for the wondrous sauce that is Pesto. However, hear me out first ok? This recipe for Vietnamese Pesto Noodles starts with the most flavoursome pesto-esque sauce you will every try. Instead of just basil we add in corriander. Swap out those pine nuts for toasted peanuts and get rid of parmesan and throw in some fish sauce for an amazing savouriness. Plus lots of lime for the ultimate zesty kick. All of this turns your basic pesto recipe on it’s head and instead you’re left with a sauce that packs in all those amazing Vietnamese flavours. I promise you, this is GOOD.
The first time I made this I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I mean, the idea sounds great but sometimes these things don’t quite work out the way you imagine. Thankfully I was so, SO wrong. This sauces packs in so much flavour and the beauty of it is you can customise it to suit your tastebuds. Like things zesty? Thrown in more lime juice. Big fan of savoury? Up the fish sauce. Obsessed with garlic? (Guilty). An extra clove or two is your answer. Make it yours my friends.
When I cook these Vietnamese Pesto Noodles I like to add a mixture of courgette, sweet potato and soba noodles.The key with the veggie noodles is to not overcook them. You want crunch. Soggy noodles won’t cut it guys. You can pick pretty much anything you fancy for your noodles. The same goes for toppings. You could add chicken, fish or tofu for extra protein or maybe some nuts and seeds for some more crunch. The bowl is all yours.
I should also add that I’ve used this pesto as a marinade for chicken and it is AMAZING. Throw a couple of tablespoons over chicken thighs and leave them for as long as you’ve got time for and pan fry them. Things will go a little bit crispy and crunchy but the flavour left is bomb.com.
Do I need a food processor to make the pesto?
Not at all! Pesto was originally made using a pestle and mortar to bash everything together until a paste was created. But if you don’t have that you could just chop everything up very finely and mix it altogether in a jar. Simple! Personally I use this food processor to create the pesto (plus a tonne of other things) because I’m a lazy girl at heart and it makes the job so quick and easy!
Can I adapt this Vietnamese Pesto Noodles recipe to make it vegan?
Of course! The only thing that stops this recipe being vegan is the fish sauce. Swap that out for soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos for that same savoury flavour.
What if I don’t have a spiralizer?
If you don’t have a spiralizer you can use a veggie peeler with a julienne attachement or just use a knife and chop the vegetables into whatever shape you fancy. If you do decided to chop the vegetables you should bare in mind they may take slightly longer to cook due to them potentially being thicker. I like to use this spiralizer as it’s easy to use and has a couple of different attachments to make things interesting.
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If you cook these Vietnamese Pesto Vegetable Noodles or have any questions, let me know in the comments!
Basil, coriander, peanuts, lime, garlic and fish sauce are blended and then stirred into veggie noodles to make these tasty Vietnamese Pesto Noodles.
For the Vietnamese Pesto:
- 50g peanuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- 30g coriander
- 30g basil
- Juice & zest of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce
- 100mls mild olive oil
For the noodles:
- 100g soba noodles or noodles of your choice
- 1 courgette
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Cooked chicken, prawns or tofu
- Chopped peanuts
- Sesame seeds
- Sliced chillis
- Slices of avocado
To make the pesto:
- Toast the peanuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, watching closely to make sure they don’t burn. Add them to a food processor with the garlic cloves and pulse a few times until coarse.
- Add the coriander and basil to the processor along with the fish sauce or soy sauce and the juice and zest of the lime. Process the mixture until the herbs are coarsely chopped then add the oil and pulse a couple more times until everything is incorporated. Leave the mixture to sit while you prepare everything else, this allows the flavours to mix together and develop.
To prepare the noodles:
- Prepare your noodles as instructed on the packet. Once cooked, rinse them under cold water to stop them cooking and put to the side.
- Using a spiralizer or julienne peeler turn your courgette and sweet potato into noodles. Alternatively you could chop the veggies into thin strip just using a knife.
- Heat a wok or frying pan on a medium-high heat with the oil. Stir fry the sweet potato noodles for 1-2 minutes until tender, then add your courgette noodles, soba noodles and half of the pesto. Mix everything together and turn off the heat.
- Serve the noodles in bowls with any toppings that you fancy! Save the remaining pesto for another meal. It should last in fridge for up to 5 days in an air tight container.
Keywords: Vietnamese Pesto Noodles