I love noodles, and I love peanut sauce. However trying to stick with a quasi-Paleo diet means eating no gluten and avoiding legumes, which knocks out a lot of noodle possibilities and also peanuts (which are legumes, not nuts). I’m not going to discuss why these common foods could be bad for you – there are ample articles on the subject out there if you are curious. (Such as this and this.)
Thankfully there are good – and even superior – options. Almond butter is one. There are several kinds of almond butter at my local grocery, but some of them are not easy to work with. You’ve seen the jars with the “butter” on the bottom and a huge layer of separated oil on top. It is hard work trying to stir that stuff back together! My favorite brand is Barney Butter, which is not only nicely blended (no-stir) and full of wholesome ingredients, it is certified gluten-free, peanut-free, and non-GMO. On top of that, it is creamy and delicious!
We really loved this dish with ground pork and a spicy, nutty sauce mixed with rice noodles. As with most stir-frys, it is important to get all your ingredients lined up and ready to go before you heat up that wok. (This is called mise en place, for the gourmet-types out there.)
- 1 pound ground pork (from pastured hogs)
- 1/2 large onion, sliced into strips
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/3 cup almond butter (I love Barney Butter)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tamari/soy sauce (gluten-free) or coconut aminos
- 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 8 ounces gluten-free rice noodles (type used for Pad Thai)
- 1/3 cup retained pasta water
- Optional serving suggestions: Cilantro, green onions, chopped roasted almonds, lime wedges
Soak rice noodles in hot water for 8-10 minutes, or as directed by package for stir-fry preparation. Reserve 1/3 cup of the water used to cook the noodles. Drain noodles and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine almond butter with tamari, Sriracha, sesame oil, honey, ginger, fish sauce, and lime juice. Whisk until smooth and set aside. (Try not to eat it with a spoon.)
In a large wok or saute pan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers, and stir-fry for a few minutes until crisp-tender. Place the vegetables in a bowl and set aside. Add the ground pork and garlic to the wok. Cook until pork is browned throughout. Drain excess fat from wok.
Return vegetables to the wok and toss with the ground pork. Add the drained rice noodles and stir fry for about 2 minutes until noodles are softened (al dente), but not mushy. Add the almond butter sauce and toss together so that the sauce is well distributed. If needed, add some (or all) of the reserved pasta water to dilute the sauce and bring the mixture to the desired consistency.
Serve garnished with cilantro, chopped green onions, or chopped nuts. Pass lime wedges. It is good warm or at room temperature. (Also good leftover – these photos were taken the next day.) Enjoy!
David Johansen has worn many hats since he burst into the music scene with the New York Dolls in the ’70s- punk rocker, lounge singer as Buster Poindexter, and now bluesman. On Harry Smiths, Johansen and his band lower the volume and increase the menace performing old time and string music classics with a bluesy touch. Highly recommended!
Once he split with the Dolls David enjoyed a solo career, and his second release, Here Comes the Night is a tight, high energy romp. On the title track or “Bohemian Love Pad” he shows he hasn’t lost that punky touch.
18 thoughts on “Ground Pork with Spicy Thai Noodles”
I make a version of this dish and love the spicy/savory/nutty combination. I’ve never tried it with ground pork, but will have to give it a try.
Love your recipe…I’m going to do this stat with these funky grain-free noodles I just found “starts with a K”…and I absolutely LOVE David Johansen…!!!…I haven’t heard anyone else liking him….thanks for the music tips…I simply love your varied, eclectic taste in music…and always love your suggestions….
Donna, thanks for listening…and cooking! More tunes to come!
Thanks, Donna! Are they kelp noodles? I have been thinking of trying kelp noodles, and this should go great with them. If you try it, please let me know how it turned out.
James (He Cleans) has it happening with great tunes every day – I’m so lucky to have a DJ with wonderful taste in music!
Thanks so much for the rapid response!!!!…The paleo-friendly “noodles” I’m going to use with your fabulous recipe are called “Shirataki de Konjac” here in France….Do you know of konjac?..I hope these are paleo at any rate!!! They are extremely low gluten/low carb and have only…get this….9.6 calories per 100 grams…truly amazing! It will be the first time I give them a shot…I promise to let you know how your amazing recipe turns out with this addition…Kudos to you and your magnificent blog in general…Your mix of creative recipes and fantastic music offerings make it my favorite!
Love it! I just converted to the Perfect Health Diet, so I can foresee some occasional rice noodles in my future. : )
Great, Alex! I had to look up the Perfect Health Diet – nice! That looks like what we have been doing but I didn’t know it had a name. I never could let go of those “pleasure foods”.
If anyone is interested in the PHD – here’s a link: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/
I’ve eaten peanut butter for lunch at least 360 of each year’s 365 days for the last 31 years. I guess we’ll see whether it negatively affects my lifespan. I’ve never had digestive troubles of any sort.
Time will tell whether pb hurts me. Right now it seems unlikely.
You must really like peanut butter! I don’t think I like anything so much that I would eat it for lunch every day for a month, much less 31 years.
It is not “digestive troubles” that I would worry about with peanuts. It is the contamination with the carcinogenic mold (aflatoxin), and the heavy use of pesticides on the crops that bother me. I hope that you are at least eating organic peanut butter, which should eliminate the concern with pesticide consumption.
This looks wonderful–I’m always looking for Paleo-friendly Thai food.
Thanks! I’ve ordered some kelp noodles and “miracle” noodles that are lower in carbs to try with this recipe. I hope I can write an update soon with something even more Paleo-friendly.
The flavor for this recipe is really good, minus the fish sauce I couldn’t find at any of the 3 grocery stores I hit today. I really miss peanut sauce, and this was a great alternative.
I used ground chicken (since already had some in the freezer) instead of pork. This did require some additional oil to keep it from sticking to the pan. Also I think that I left the gf rice noodles in the warm water too long, they started to get mushy and break apart when I added them to the stir fry.
Overall this was a fantastic addition to my monthy lineup. Thank you!
Next time I think I will add some additional veggies (bean sprouts, mushrooms, maybe spinach?).
I’m glad you liked it! Those GF noodles, in my experience, don’t really stand up well to prolonged moisture and will fall apart. As soon as they are done, I drain them and rinse with cold water if I’m not using right away. Mixing a little oil with them will keep them from sticking together while they wait. Adding more veggies is a great idea! I think broccoli would also be a winning addition.
Thanks for commenting!
Made this tonight…delicious!! Loved every bite!
Oh- and I added some broccoli too!
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