Peanut Noodles with Napa Cabbage

Peanut Noodles with Napa Cabbage | A Couple Cooks

Peanut Noodles with Napa Cabbage | A Couple Cooks

We’re the type of people who start cooking when they are hungry, not before. We’re still trying to break the habit, but the crazy artist sides of both of us cringe at the words “plan ahead” — mainly only when related to food. Our practical, sensible sides have no problem planning for long-term financial security, but planning Thursday’s dinner on Monday? That’s downright insane.

So for weeknight dinners, Alex and I try to pick meals that are simple and not too time consuming. This one is a recipe I tried on a whim to use some Napa cabbage (from Silverthorn Farm) and a red pepper we’d just picked up at the farmer’s market. We’d been looking for a good peanut sauce for noodles for years, and finally this one made the cut. Topped with some fresh squeezed lime juice (essential), cilantro, and crushed peanuts, this noodle bowl was delightful! It can also be made gluten-free if you make sure to buy gluten-free soba noodles (which are made of buckwheat, but many packages have a little bit of traditional wheat so make sure to check the package).

If you’re in Indiana, we hope you’ll enjoy this as another healthy meal idea as part of our Cook for Health September initiative! There’s just one week left in September for you to post your photos of healthy meals on Instagram (or send us an email) for the chance to win some lovely Indiana-based prizes. Take a look at the details here!


Peanut Noodles with Napa Cabbage

1 Star (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • ½ pound Napa cabbage, shredded (4 to 5 cups)
  • 1 red pepper
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 12 ounces soba noodles (look for 100% buckwheat noodles for a gluten-free option)
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup crushed peanuts


  1. Shred 1/2 pound Napa cabbage. Thinly slice 1 red pepper. Chop 1/4 cup cilantro and reserve for a garnish.
  2. Start a pot of water to boil.
  3. In a small saucepan, whisk together 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce. Cook the sauce over low heat until it is warm and slightly thickened.
  4. When the water is boiling, cook noodles according to package directions.
  5. Meanwhile, place the red pepper in a colander over sink. When the noodles are cooked, drain them over the red pepper in the colander to slightly cook the peppers. Transfer noodles, peppers, and cabbage to a serving bowl, add the sauce, and toss until combined.
  6. To serve, garnish with chopped cilantro, fresh squeezed lime juice (a must!), and a generous helping of crushed peanuts.

Keywords: Soba Noodles, Soba, Vegetarian, Vegan, Cabbage, Red Pepper, Peanut Sauce, Peanut Noodles


About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    September 25, 2014 at 4:47 am

    I can’t get enough of soba noodles! These look lovely!

  • Reply
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    September 25, 2014 at 7:31 am

    I’m ALL for speedy meals, especially when veggies and peanut butter are involved! It’s only 7:30am but you’ve got me craving this hard right now!

  • Reply
    Vijay @ NoshOn.It
    September 25, 2014 at 9:14 am

    You guys seriously don’t know how much I love peanut noodles. I could eat them all day every day!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Healthy Recipe Ecstasy
    September 25, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I HAVE to start cooking before I get hungry otherwise all hell breaks loose and I will end up eating anything and everything I can grab and stuff into my mouth. :) I love this recipe. Pinning now!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Wow, I really must try this it looks awesome. Me and my fiancée always try to plan ahead but then the inspiration comes over us and we still end up doing cooking something other, the food just seems to taste better than if we would have sticked to the original food plan!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
    September 25, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Noodle bowls are one of my favorite meals – easy to throw together and ohhhh so tasty. This looks delicious!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Hi, I live in Indianapolis and am wondering where you purchase roasted sesame oil. I have sesame oil but not roasted. I have never made peanut noodles but believe I am in for a treat and will use your recipe. Thanks.

    • Reply
      September 25, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Hi! We found the roasted sesame oil at Whole Foods… hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Mary @ The Kitchen Paper
    September 25, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Ohhh yum yum yum! I go crazy for any peanut noodles — this sounds absolutely perfect!

  • Reply
    Natalie | Paper & Birch
    September 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    My husband is obsessed with any recipe i make with peanuts or peanut butter in it, so I definitely gotta make this!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life
    September 25, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I am always starving so when I cook dinner I make sure to have a carrot or some cucumber to snack on while I’m cooking so that I don’t reach for the oh-so-easy to reach bag of open chocolate chips.
    This dinner looks perfect for the vegetarian and the omnivore in our house, and a perfect bowl for a light but filling dinner after our runs. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    jaime // the briny
    September 25, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    (pssst. I really love the towel you photographed the bowl on in the second picture!)

  • Reply
    September 26, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I was surprised how easy peanut sauce was to make when I first started making it! Noodles + peanut sauce + cabbage can never go wrong :)

  • Reply
    molly yeh
    September 27, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    mmmmmmmmmmmm i loooooooooooooooove peanut noodles. at all hours of the day. at all temperatures. during all seasons. get in my belly.

  • Reply
    Millie | Add A Little
    September 28, 2014 at 2:47 am

    I love peanut noodles and these are no exception – looks full of colour and flavour!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Ha, ha!! Totally related to your comments about the artistic gene lacking the dinner planning chromosome!

    I was wondering if you have a certain soba noodle brand you like? I once took a class on making them –and they did taste delicious–but since I share the same arty nature, I never seem to have the time when I always wait until I am starved to cook!


  • Reply
    September 28, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    I love a good peanut sauce and this one sounds like it’ll be well worth making. Looking forward to trying it. Most peanut sauce recipes I’ve found leave a lot to be desired.

  • Reply
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen
    September 30, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I love soba noodles and peanut sauce! This is one of my favorite go to dinners….so easy to throw together and so, so tasty!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    October 1, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Yep this was pretty awesome. I’m feeling under the weather but I was already planning to make this tonight. And it happens to be the perfect sick food because it came together so fast and the flavors were amazing, really comforting. Love the idea of straining the pasta over the bell peppers too – it cooks them just enough. Wonderful recipe you guys!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.