No-cook noodles with fewer than 20 calories per serving—sound impossible? Meet shirataki: springy, al dente delights made from Japanese white yams. (You'll typically find them next to the tofu in your grocery store.) Shirataki have a very mild flavor, so J. Kenji López-Alt, author of The Food Lab, tosses them in a creamy, Southeast Asian-inspired sauce that packs a fiery punch.

Serves 4


  • 2/3 cup chunky natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice (from 1 lime) or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar or honey
  • 2 to 3 tsp. Asian chili sauce, such as sambal oelek or sriracha
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages shirataki noodles, rinsed, drained, and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 cup loosely packed mix of basil, mint, and cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 4 scallions, sliced into strips
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored and sliced into strips
  • ½ large English cucumber, cut into half-moons
  • 1 or 2 red Thai bird chilies, minced (optional)
  • ½ cup roughly chopped roasted peanuts

Total time: 20 minutes

In a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, 2 Tbsp. warm water, sugar, chili sauce, oil, and garlic until well combined. Add noodles and toss gently to coat. Add herbs, sprouts, scallions, jalapeño, bell pepper, cucumber, and chilies (if using) and toss gently to combine. Transfer to a platter, scatter peanuts over top, and serve.


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