These noodles are packed with lime juice, chilli and herbs – add prawns, chicken or tofu for a more substantial dish (Photo: Leanne Kitchen)

Recipe: Spicy fresh herb noodles

An easy, flavour-packed noodle recipe from Bounty – Cooking With Vegetables, the new cookbook from national food education charity the Garden to Table Trust.

The fresh flavours of these noodles are less complex than many Thai dishes, as the simple spice paste uses just a few ingredients. If you’d rather not make a paste, use a ready-made one of your choice, such as a green curry paste. Make this into a more substantial dish by adding prawns, chicken or tofu. If you do, cook your chosen ingredient first in half the paste, then add the noodles with the remainder. You can easily double these quantities to serve four people.


  • 200g fresh or dried egg noodles
  • 1 large bunch coriander, plus extra, for garnishing
  • handful basil leaves, plus extra, for garnishing
  • 1 large bunch chives
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 cup (100g) mung bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup (40g) roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 3–4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • lime wedges, to serve

For the spice paste

  • 1 long red or green chilli, or more, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6cm piece galangal or ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


For the spice paste, halve the chilli lengthwise and remove the seeds, then roughly chop. Peel and chop the garlic and peel and grate the galangal. Place the chilli, garlic, galangal, fish sauce and lime juice in a small food processor and blend to a paste. Alternatively, pound all the ingredients in a mortar with a pestle (or very finely chop the ingredients all together), then place in a bowl and stir in the fish sauce and lime juice. You should have about ¼ cup.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the noodles and cook following the instructions on the packet until barely cooked (not quite al dente). Drain, rinse under cold water to prevent them from sticking and drain again.

Trim the lower stems and roots from the coriander (these can be saved for making a different spice paste). Wash all the herbs and pat dry on a clean tea towel. Roughly chop the coriander and basil. Finely chop the chives and spring onions. Rinse the sprouts and drain in a sieve. Roughly chop the peanuts.

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the paste and stir-fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the noodles and continue stir-frying for 1-2 minutes or until the noodles are cooked.

Remove from the heat and taste, adding a little more fish sauce if it needs more salt, or more chilli if you prefer it hotter. Toss in tHankering after fresh, zingy flavours? These noodles from the new Garden to Table cookbook will hit the spothe fresh herbs and bean sprouts. Transfer to a large bowl or platter and scatter with peanuts and extra basil and coriander leaves. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Bounty is available from all good bookstores for RRP $39.95, with 100% of sales proceeds going directly to the Garden to Table Trust.  

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