Spicy Thai Sunflower Noodles

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Welcome to Claire's: 35 Years of Recipes and Reflections from the Landmark Vegetarian Restaurant

Welcome to Claire's

By Claire Criscuolo

Published 2014

  • About

We went peanut-free at Claire’s several years ago because we had several children who were highly allergic, and honestly, I was just too worried. Today, we use sunflower seed butter and it’s delicious, too.


  • Sea salt
  • 1 13-ounce package organic brown rice spaghetti or other rice noodles
  • 1 teaspoon organic toasted sesame oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, sliced
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon organic grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter (I like Sunbutter brand, available in most supermarkets)
  • ¼ cup organic tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • White pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 medium organic carrot, cut into julienne pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves


    1. Bring a large covered pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. When the water reaches a boil, add the brown rice noodles and cook according to package directions. When the pasta is cooked to your preference, drain it, rinse the noodles under cold water, then drain again. Turn into a bowl. Drizzle the sesame oil evenly over the top and toss to coat. Set aside. Place the garlic, ginger, and jalapeño pepper into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Finely grate the lime and add the zest to the food processor bowl, then squeeze the juice from the lime and add it to the bowl. Cover and process for about 20 seconds, until the vegetables are finely minced and well blended.
    2. Heat the grapeseed oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently until softened. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and the brown sugar, then stir to blend. Stir in the processed garlic mixture. Cook for about 10 seconds, stirring continuously until the sugar melts. Add the sunflower seed butter and stir well, then stir in the tamari, vinegar, and the water. Whisk well to blend, then continue cooking for about 5 minutes, whisking frequently until the sauce becomes first smooth and then, toward the end of the 5 minutes, slightly thickened.
    3. Sprinkle with a little white pepper, then stir well to combine. Add the drained noodles. Using two spoons, toss well to coat. Taste for seasonings, and if you want it a little spicier, add just a sprinkle of cayenne, toss the noodles until well blended, then taste again for seasonings.
    4. Turn onto a serving platter. Scatter the julienne strips of carrot and the cilantro leaves evenly over the top. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.