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Asian fish and peanut sauce noodles

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Asian fish and peanut sauce noodles

I love the idea of combining fish with pasta, but not all pasta and fish combinations work well in real life. What I found, however, is that using Asian flavors to create a base sauce for pasta and fish is always a win. For example, if you haven’t yet tried my recipe for Asian salmon and noodles with snow peas and mushrooms – please do! It’s really good and ridiculously easy to make, it remains one of my top recipes of choice for making dinner at the end of the hard work day. And now, let me introduce you to my other recent favorite, Asian fish and peanut sauce noodles:

Asian fish and peanut sauce noodles

This recipe is also very easy to make, and, let’s face it, you can’t really go wrong with a peanut sauce and noodles. So, by choosing peanut sauce for my noodles, I was already off to a good start! The peanut sauce here is very simple and is somewhat of a cross between Pad Thai and drunken noodles. If you like either one of those dishes you will love this recipe! I make the peanut sauce by first combining fish sauce, honey (or brown sugar if you don’t have honey), rice vinegar and red pepper flakes in a pan and heating the ingredients until they all mix together, and honey becomes liquid and easy to stir. Then I add some coconut milk and just a tablespoon of red curry paste – I like to use a very spicy one, such as of Mae Ploy brand, but Thai Kitchen brand will work too. Finally, I add a very creamy peanut butter – I used Skippy brand in this recipe. You don’t want to add “real” or homemade peanut butter because it will not be able to blend in as well, use Skippy or Jiffy brands istead for guaranteed results. Stir this peanut butter mixture on low-medium heat until everything is well combined:

Asian fish and peanut sauce noodles


Then, I cook rice stick noodles or fettuccine pasta (if you don’t have rice noodles) according to package instructions and add to the sauce:

Asian fish and peanut sauce noodles

Then, the only thing you have left to do is to sear fish fillets on very high heat and make a very simple and quick glaze to pour over the fish. Searing the fish is very easy as long as you get your skillet really hot. Only when the skillet is very hot do you add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, which should immediately sizzle and even smoke a bit. Then you add fish fillets seasoned with salt and pepper, without crowding them, and sear for about 2 minutes on each side.

Asian fish and peanut sauce noodles

What’s great about this recipe is that you are not limited to a certain type of white fleshed fish. I cooked black cod for this recipe, which is what you see on these photos – because I have lots of it in my freezer, and I find black cod to be very forgiving and impossible to screw up while cooking: it’s a very flaky and buttery fish, and it does not dry out easily. But, in reality, you can use any other white fish such as tilapia, sea bass, halibut, mahi mahi, etc.

Asian fish and peanut sauce noodles, black cod, tilapia, mahi mahi, halibut, seafood, fish

Asian fish and peanut sauce noodles

Prep time: 1 hour

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients for peanut sauce and noodles:

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (Skippy creamy peanut butter works well)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 4 ounces fettuccine-width rice stick noodles (gluten free or regular) or fettuccine pasta

Ingredients for the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Ingredients for cooking the fish:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound or four 6-ounce filletsof white flesh fish (black cod, tilapia, halibut, mahi mahi, sea bass)
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped green onions or chives – for garnish

1) Mix first 4 ingredients for the peanut sauce in a large pan, heat it up on low-medium heat, stirring to melt honey. Then add peanut butter, coconut milk and red curry paste, continuing to stir until very creamy. If it is a little bit watery – that’s fine.

2) Cook rice noodles or fettuccine according to package instructions. Add noodles to the peanut sauce, keep it on warm (if you have that setting) or off the heat – otherwise too much liquid from peanut sauce will evaporate

3) To make the glaze: combine 2 tablespoons of brown sugar or honey, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar in small sauce pan, cook on medium-high heat until the glaze thickens slightly. Set aside and keep covered while you cook fish:

4) Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet on high heat until very hot. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil – it should sizzle immediately. Add fish fillets to the skillet without crowding them, and sear about 2 minutes on each side. I’ve used black cod but any other white fish will work too.

5) To serve, place a scoop of peanut sauce noodles in the middle of the plate, top with the fish fillet, pour some glaze over, making sure you have enough glaze for other fish fillets. Sprinkle with chopped green onions or chives on top, if desired.



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{ 54 comments… add one }
  • Monique June 7, 2013, 7:15 pm

    We just ate a very similar dish this week..I do like asian noodles w/ fish:) They go well together..We loved the combo..thanks for your recipe!

    I made asian chicken in the wok tonight..new recipe..and let’s just say I am giving my newish red cast iron wok to my daughter:)
    It weighs a ton:(

    • Julia June 8, 2013, 3:23 pm

      Ha-ha! I don’t even own wok, but I need one!

  • Matt @ The Athlete's Plate June 7, 2013, 7:33 pm

    This would be great with sea bass!

    • Julia June 8, 2013, 3:23 pm

      It would amazing with sea bass!

  • Ari @ Ari's Menu June 7, 2013, 8:29 pm

    I looooove peanut sauce, and this looks amazing! I rarely make fish, which is weird because I love it. I will def have to check out some of your fish recipes!

    • Julia June 8, 2013, 3:24 pm

      I make fish all the time! Half the stuff does not even make it to my blog.

  • Barb June 7, 2013, 9:47 pm

    Oh, my… I think I’m going to have to make this… 🙂 beautiful!

  • Alla June 8, 2013, 12:37 am

    Here in the Netherlands peanut sauce is sold pre-made, but it’s so thick and too sweet I find. I’m going to try yours looks (and reads) just perfect!

    • Julia June 8, 2013, 3:25 pm

      I find the same true for the store-bought peanut sauces here in the US. I alwasy prefer to make my own vs. buying it in the store: it’s easy and the flavor and the texture are so much better!

      • Alla June 9, 2013, 1:02 pm

        YUM! I just had this!! Mom in law was over and loved it too, and she was surprised it was so QUICK to make too! I just totally forgot the chives for garnish… next time 🙂

        • Julia June 9, 2013, 5:26 pm

          How cool – you made it and took a photo! Looks good!

  • Amy @ swiss miss in the kitchen June 8, 2013, 9:07 am

    Oh Julia this looks amazing!! I looove pad thai and all sorts of (asian) noodle dishes so I’m definitely gonna make this one 🙂 Looks mouthwatering!!
    xox Am

    • Julia June 8, 2013, 3:26 pm

      Thank you! I love Pad Thai and drunken noodles and all types of Asian pasta dishes too!

  • The second photo made me salivate!!!!!!! This dish of fish and noodles should be called: Spreading the love!!! Have a great weekend, Julia!!!

    • Julia June 8, 2013, 3:26 pm

      Thank you, Denise!

  • Jill June 8, 2013, 4:56 pm

    Hi Julia, We just signed up for a fish delivery service. Every week, we get 2 different kinds of fish caught off Cape Cod. My husband used to work on the Cape for a few weeks every summer. One night, he had a halibut dish similar to your recipe. He still raves about it. You’ve inspired me with your red curry and coconut milk sauce. Must make this as soon as our fish arrives!

    • Julia June 9, 2013, 1:22 am

      Oh, how wonderful that you will be getting regular supply of fresh fish now! I still have quite a few fresh fish fillets in the freezer that were shipped to us fresh from Seattle seafood market. Nothing compares to fresh seafood!

  • Suzanne Perazzini June 8, 2013, 4:58 pm

    You’re right that not all pasta dishes with fish work well. The more Asian they are the better – unless it is pasta alla marinara, of course. Your recipe looks simple and tasty.

    • Julia June 9, 2013, 1:24 am

      I so agree with you! I’ve tried so many recipes trying to use both fish and pasta together, and it gets tricky! Using Asian flavors with fish + noodles always works!

  • Patty June 8, 2013, 5:47 pm

    Peanut sauce noodles with just about anything sounds good to me, but the fish looks very good!

  • Baltic Maid June 8, 2013, 8:31 pm

    What a wonderful recipe. I am a huge fan of peanut sauce and fish. I have never tried it together. Sounds and looks amazing! I’ll have to give this a try. Thanks!

  • Daniela June 8, 2013, 8:41 pm

    This fish recipe looks truly irresistible!
    Love the combination with peanut sauce noodles, so tasty.

  • Min June 8, 2013, 11:12 pm

    Yum! Julia, this looks amazing! Peanut butter, fish sauce, honey, noodles, fish…love every single component of this dish! I must make this soon…

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com June 9, 2013, 5:16 am

    Ohmygosh!! This is one plate of deliciousness!! I love asian fish and peanut sauce noodles already makes me drool 🙂

  • [email protected] June 9, 2013, 2:38 pm

    Nice recipe! Love all of the flavors in this. Truly good stuff, and something I absolutely need to make. Thanks so much!

  • Beth June 9, 2013, 5:33 pm

    My mouth was watering as I saw all those beautiful pictures. It looks wonderful!

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes June 10, 2013, 2:25 am

    Well you definitely seem to have made fish and pasta work well together! Love the Asian flavors!

  • Natasha @ The Cake Merchant June 10, 2013, 1:50 pm

    I am going to try this with cod. The noodles look good just by themselves!

  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker June 10, 2013, 4:48 pm

    Wow, that looks fantastic! I’m always looking for new ways to make fish. Delicious!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef June 11, 2013, 12:21 am

    I’ve never paired fish with pasta – ever. If these photos are any indication on taste, what a winner!

  • Liz June 11, 2013, 10:00 pm

    What a marvelous entree! It must taste amazing, Julie!!

  • [email protected]'s Recipes June 11, 2013, 11:38 pm

    Gosh..I love that sauce! The fish steaks are so succulent and tender. Amazing!

  • Laura Dembowski June 12, 2013, 12:22 pm

    Asian noodles like this sound so yummy! I bet they pair perfectly with the fish too!

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook June 13, 2013, 4:17 pm

    I’m drooling over this recipe, Julia. I love the peanut sauce noodle, and that will be really popular among kids. The fish is panfried to perfection!

  • Sarah October 13, 2013, 4:03 pm

    This looks amazing! Going to adapt this for dinner this week. Can’t wait!

  • Jean Betters March 4, 2014, 1:08 pm

    I love fish and this recipe looks like something I could do, but I have a few questions: Do you have any idea what the calorie count is? Would it work with Zucchini ‘noodles’ substituted for the other kind? Is this spicy at all? And if so, what could I do to make it less so? I’m sorry if these questions are a bit…dumb….but I have lived my almost 35 years with the firm belief that I don’t like to cook and therefore cannot. However, I am finally trying to get healthy and now realize that I actually do like to cook. It helps that I have lost 31 pounds and am on track to lose more! 🙂 Thank you for your help.

  • Katie July 27, 2014, 8:45 pm

    Just discovered your website- I’m loving the recipes!!
    I noticed that this recipe is marked “vegetarian” though, which is incorrect because it contains fish.

    • Julia August 7, 2014, 2:58 pm

      You’re right – it’s not vegetarian! 🙂 Even though some of my vegetarian friends do eat fish! 🙂

  • Libby January 28, 2015, 6:24 pm

    Eeek! It’s dangerous to heat your cooking oils to the point where they’re smoking! No one wants to breathe in carcinogens!

  • tongs fitflop May 31, 2015, 3:26 pm

    Asian fish and peanut sauce noodles
    tongs fitflop http://www.epsilog.com/forum/fitflop.php/

  • Richard June 5, 2015, 11:41 am

    Just found your website while browsing for a fish recipe, looking through
    your other recipes I”ll definitely be returning alot , thanks for posting

  • Ulrike Johnston February 28, 2016, 2:35 pm

    I would like to give this recipe two thumbs up! We came home with Thai restaurant leftovers but not enough to feed everyone. This was the perfect extension for the meal and I am looking forward to making it again.

  • steve June 17, 2017, 11:15 pm

    So Salty. Could not eat it.

  • Allison August 27, 2017, 5:34 pm

    Hi can we use almond butter? Daughter is allergic to peanut butter.

    • Julia November 3, 2017, 6:21 pm

      Never tried it with almond butter but I love the flavor, and it might work in this recipe!

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