Instant Pot Peanut noodles - delicious stir-fry style noodles in a peanut butter-garlic-chili sauce. So much better than regular takeout!
(This recipe was first published in June 2020 and has been updated)
I can't go for too long without a good Asian-inspired meal at home, and I make these peanut noodles very often to satisfy those takeout-style cravings. The sauce is packed with flavor from the peanut butter, garlic, soy sauce and rice vinegar. This meal is also so quick to make - in under 30 minutes you have a meal that is super delicious and a huge hit with the kids!
Why make peanut noodles in the Instant Pot?
This recipe can be made both on the Instant Pot and on the stovetop, although I much prefer making it in the Instant Pot. Aside from the obvious advantage of less clean-up and shorter cooking time, here's why I prefer making peanut noodles in the IP:
- Flavor-infused noodles - The noodles are pressure cooked in the sauce, instead of simply being tossed in the sauce, wok-style. The noodles are infused with the flavor from the sauce - always a big plus!
- No more soggy veggies - Many recipes recommend cooking the veggies with the noodles to cut down on time, but this makes the veggies soften and overcooks them. In this recipe, we stir fry them in 'Saute' mode, keep them aside and add them back to the noodles at the end. The veggies are tender-crisp, instead of soggy, just like authentic wok-style noodles.
Ingredients used for this recipe
- Lo mein noodles (Chinese egg noodles) or spaghetti noodles
- Assorted vegetables: Thinly-sliced carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms
- For the sauce:
- Creamy peanut butter
- Chili paste (I used Korean gochujang chili paste, but you can use any chili paste of your choice or even sweet chili sauce)
- Soy sauce
- Oyster Sauce: This is optional, but highly recommended. If you don't have oyster sauce, substitute with a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar
- Vinegar: Rice vinegar is preferred for his recipe, but apple cider vinegar can be used as well
- Sesame oil
What kind of noodles are used to make peanut noodles?
You can use either egg noodles (lo mein noodles) or spaghetti noodles for this recipe, although I much prefer to go with the lo mein noodles, for a more authentic experience. Optionally, use rice noodles or ramen noodles also. The time for cooking will differ depending on the type of noodles you are using - 4 minutes for lo mein noodles, followed by quick release of pressure and 6 mins of cooking for spaghetti pasta noodles, followed by a quick release of pressure.
How much water do I need to cook noodles in the Instant Pot?
To cook noodles in the Instant Pot, you simply add the sauce for the noodles to the Instant Pot, along with enough water to cook the noodles. As a rule of thumb, use 2 ¼ cups of water for 8 oz. noodles.
Mix together water with the sauce in the Instant Pot. To ensure that the noodles cook properly, break up the noodles, and place them in the Instant Pot. If you are using spaghetti noodles, fan them out in the Instant Pot, so that they are evenly covered in water. You want the noodles to be submerged in the liquid as much as possible – this will help get evenly saturated with water while pressure cooking.
How long should I cook noodles in the Instant Pot?
The cooking time will depend on the type of noodles you are using - If you are using lo mein noodles, keep in mind that they cooker quicker than regular spaghetti. Pressure Cook lo mein noodles for 4 minutes and quick release pressure, and for spaghetti noodles, Pressure Cook for 6 minutes and release pressure manually. For ramen or instant noodles, the time would be much lesser.
Hit Saute on the Instant Pot and add the sesame oil. Let it heat up, and add the chopped garlic once heated. Saute the garlic for a couple of minutes and add the vegetables. Saute until veggies are tender but still crisp. Keep the veggies aside. You will add them later, towards the end.
Make the sauce by whisking together peanut butter with rice vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce. Add the sauce to the Instant Pot. Add 2 1/4 cups of water and whisk to combine the water and sauce. Now add the noodles, after breaking them up. Push them down, such that they are evenly submerged in the water.
Pressure cook for 4 minutes (if using lo mein noodles) or 6 minutes if using spaghetti noodles. Quick-release pressure and open the Instant Pot.
Using a pair of tongs, mix up the noodles, make sure they are cooked. Add the reserved veggies and mix together. Add crushed peanuts, toasted sesame oil, lemon juice to garnish.
Mix well with tongs and serve!
How to add your own spin on this recipe
- Add your choice of meat protein (chicken, pork or seafood) along with veggies while sauteeing. Or add rotisserie chicken along with the stir-fried veggies at the end.
- Add sweet chili sauce instead of chili paste.
- Replace water with chicken or vegetable stock for added flavor.
For more Asian-inspired recipes, take a look at:
Instant Pot Peanut Noodles
- 250 grams Lo Mein noodles or use spaghetti noodles
- 1/2 cup Bell peppers sliced thin
- 1/2 cup mushrooms chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots sliced thin
- 3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- salt, if required
- ½ lemon
- Crushed peanuts and toasted sesame seeds for garnish
For the sauce
- 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp chili paste such as gochujang (or any chili sauce of your choice)
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce use a low-sodium variety
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2¼ cup water
- Turn on the Saute mode on the Instant Pot and add the sesame oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and saute for a minute until fragrant. Then add the veggies and continue to saute for around 4 minutes until tender (they should be crisp, and not overcooked).
- Hit Cancel and keep the veggies aside in a bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients listed under ‘sauce’. Check for seasoning, and add salt or adjust chili sauce if needed.
- Add the sauce to the Instant Pot, followed by 2+¼ cup water. Whisk to combine.
- Break the lo mein noodles and place them in the Instant Pot. Push them down to submerge them as much as possible.
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot and Pressure Cook for 4 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete and the IP beeps, manually release pressure (quick release).
- Add the reserved veggies, and add a the juice of half a lemon.
- Using tongs, gently toss the noodles and veggies.
- Garnish with toasted seasme seeds, crushed peanuts and serve.