Easy Sweet and Sour Asian Noodles
These 30-Minute Asian Noodles are made with a homemade sweet and sour sauce. Perfect as a side or main dish, and kids love this recipe!
Asian Noodles with Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce
My daughter loves noodles. She’d be perfectly content eating spaghetti with marina or mac and cheese daily. So I thought I’d mix things up and make these easy Asian noodles.
There are layers and layers of flavors in these easy noodles that are ready in 30 minutes. Soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, lime juice, ginger, and Asian chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian aisle of most major grocery stores) make up the sweet and sour sauce and coat the noodles beautifully. They’re sweet and sour, with a very subtle heat from the ginger and chili-garlic sauce.
Red peppers, sugar snap peas, water chestnuts, and baby corn add texture and crunch to these sweet and sour noodles. When I was a kid, I used to go nuts for baby corn and my daughter is the same.
I kept the recipe vegetarian, but you can add the protein of your choice, including chicken, pork, shrimp, or beef. My family never missed the meat because they were too busy slurping up noodles.
Who needs takeout when homemade tastes better and you’re in control of the ingredients?
How to Make Asian Noodles
First cook the thin spaghetti noodles until al dente, then drain and set aside. Whisk together the sweet and sour sauce ingredients and keep near the stove for quick access later.
Then, sauté sliced bell pepper in a little sesame oil until crisp-tender. Add the sugar snap peas, water chestnuts, and green onion to the same skillet and continue cooking until the veggies become slightly tender.
Finally, add the cooked spaghetti and the homemade sweet and sour sauce to the skillet and toss to coat the noodles fully. Cook the Asian noodles for a few more minutes to thicken the sauce and heat everything through.
These sweet and sour noodles are best fresh, but they reheat well as leftovers. I like to garnish mine with cilantro, sesame seeds, and more green onion, but you can keep things as simple as you’d like.
One thing to note about enjoying these noodles as leftovers is that the spaghetti will continue to soak up the sweet and sour sauce as it sits in the fridge. So you may need to add a tablespoon or so of water to a skillet when you reheat these noodles, just to loosen everything up a bit!
Tips for the Best Asian Noodles
Although this recipe is pretty straightforward, there are a few things you should keep in mind while making these noodles. First, it’s so important that you cook the spaghetti just until al dente. The noodles will soak up the sweet and sour sauce the longer they sit in it, and if you overcook the pasta it will turn to mush once it’s mixed with the sauce.
Likewise, you want to sauté the veggies until they’re crisp-tender. If you overcook the veggies, they’ll become heavy and won’t add extra textures to this dish. But if you cook the veggies in the order I specified, this recipe should turn out perfectly!
And one last note — you want to reheat these Asian noodles in a hot skillet with a tiny bit of oil. If you reheat them in the microwave, they’ll become rubbery. Not what you want!
More Sweet and Sour Recipes:
- Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken — This sweet and sour chicken recipe takes just 15 minutes to make and tastes way better than takeout. Perfect for a weeknight dinner!
- Sweet and Sour Zucchini Corn Salad — There’s so much flavor, texture, and crunch in every bite. The salad can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept refrigerated.
- Sweet and Sour Shrimp Stir-Fry — The stir fry has sweet and juicy shrimp, crisp-tender sugar snap peas, broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots. The shrimp and veggies are coated in a sweet-and-sour sauce mixture that’s perfectly sweet with just the right amount of tang!
- 1 lb thin spaghetti, cooked and drained*
- 3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Asian chili-garlic sauce**
- 1 to 2 teaspoons ground ginger, to taste
- 1 large red bell pepper, trimmed, seeded, and sliced into thin strips
- 1 heaping cup sugar snap peas***
- one 15-ounce can baby corn, drained and rinsed (if using whole baby corn, cut into bite-sized pieces)
- one 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup green onions (about 4 green onions), trimmed and sliced into thin rounds, plus more for garnishing
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (stems discarded), finely minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted if desired, optional for garnishing
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- To a medium bowl, add the rice wine vinegar, honey, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, lime juice, chili-garlic sauce, ginger (some people are sensitive to ginger so add to taste), and whisk to combine; set sauce aside.
- To a large skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, peppers, and cook over medium-high heat until peppers begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir intermittently.
- Add the sugar snap peas, baby corn, water chestnuts, green onions, and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir intermittently.
- Add the cooked spaghetti, sauce, and cook for about 2 minutes, or until warmed through. Toss well during cooking. The extra sauce that’s pooling at the bottom of the skillet will absorb into the noodles over the next 30 minutes; toss intermittently.
- Evenly sprinkle with cilantro and toss to combine. Optionally garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve immediately. Noodles are best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Reheat gently as desired.
*Spaghetti or angel hair pasta may be substitute
**Found in the Asian aisle of most major grocery stores; sriracha may be substituted
***Snow peas may be substituted
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 570mg Carbohydrates: 59g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 27g Protein: 8g
Even More Easy Asian Recipes:
Peanut Chicken with Peanut Noodles — Ready in 20 minutes and is way healthier than takeout. Peanut sauce automatically makes everything taste amazing!
Peanut Noodles with Mixed Vegetables and Peanut Sauce – Fast, easy, fresh, healthy, and ready in 5 minutes!
Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad – Big juicy chicken chunks and texture galore from the rainbow of crispy veggies! Fast, easy, fresh and healthy! Great for picnics, potlucks, and easy dinners!
Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken – The easiest peanut chicken ever and your slow cooker does all the work! Topped with crunchy peanuts, cilantro, green onions, and the peanut sauce is irresistible!
Skinny Broccoli and Mixed Vegetable Stir Fry — Skip takeout and make your own fast, easy, and healthy stir fry! Think of all the money and calories you’ll save!