Raw carrot noodles with spicy peanut sauce

Raw carrot noodles with spicy peanut sauce

We’re about to hit another heatwave in New York City, and when it’s this hot, I cannot be bothered to turn on my stove or oven. Who wants to be stuck in a hot apartment, eating hot food, during a heatwave? Not me, I’m just not built for that. Therefore, I’m on a mission to make at least a dozen cold, savory recipes that are refreshing, healthy, filling, and satisfying – without breaking a sweat. 

I got a lot of positive support on Instagram for my cold cucumber “noodle” dish. So, I wanted to debut another cold “noodle” recipe: Raw carrot “noodles” with Thai-inspired spicy, peanut sauce. Also, I’m fully aware some people call carrot noodles coodles, but I’m not doing that in this blog post because I don’t want to. 

This dish is cool, spicy, crunching, and creamy. It has a nice blend of sweet and savory flavors coming from peanut butter and carrots. If you don’t typically eat Asian cuisine, the combination of raw carrots and peanut butter might sound atypical, but rest assured, it’s a delightful flavor combination.

And the best part about this recipe is that it honestly comes together in 30 minutes. I even timed myself on three occasions while making this dish and I had a few minutes to spare every time. 

Jareen holds up carrot noodles covered in peanut sauce

Where did carrot salads come from?

Carrot salads are widely popular throughout the world. Different regions and cultures have their own versions of carrot salad. What’s interesting is that many of these recipes describe shredding the carrots. I lived in Atlanta, Georgia, for many years and it was common to eat carrot raisin salad in the summertime, which is a popular Southern dish. In Brazil, it’s common to have carrot salad with grilled meats. Across the Asian continent, there are a variety of carrot salad dishes. Koreans living in Russia popularized spicy, pickled carrot salad. In the Middle East, carrot salad is enjoyed with parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil. In France, carrot salad is eaten with mustard. And in several African nations, like Morocco and Tunisia, carrot salad is served with lemon juice, cumin, and herbs.  

raw carrots

What are the benefits of eating raw carrots?

It’s always a good thing to eat more vegetables, but raw carrots have a host of positive health benefits. They are a  rich source of dietary carotenoids. The beta-carotene in carrots turns into vitamin A in our intestines and is an essential nutrient in our daily lives. Carotenoids also help maintain a well-functioning immune system and are great for skin and healthy aging. Some research suggests that carrots can also help people with cholesterol absorption and possibly improve cholesterol balance. It’s high in fiber, supporting your digestive system while helping to keep you fuller, longer. There’s also research suggesting daily consumption of raw carrots can help reduce the risk of some cancers and also support your gut health. 

Also, did you know that carrots can improve your eyesight because they have vitamin see? See what I did there? It’s a carrot pun… although they do technically have more than 3 milligrams of vitamin C, I’ll stop before I get ahead of myself. You have to admit that was sort of funny, or at least cringe-worthy.

Onto the recipe: 

Raw carrot noodles with spicy peanut sauce


4 servings 

Total time making this recipe

Active cook time: 30 minutes 


Carrot “noodles” recipe

  • 6 to 8 medium carrots (yields about a pound of carrots)
  • ½ cup of cilantro 
  • 4 leaves of basils
  • 1 block of firm tofu 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 avocados 
  • Sesame seeds for garnish (optional) 

Shredded carrots and herds in a bowl

Spicy peanut sauce

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (you can use almond butter or sunflower butter) 
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey (to keep 100% vegan you can use sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced or 1 teaspoon of dry ginger powder 
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon spicy chili oil (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste) 
  • 1 tablespoon to 3 tablespoons of water to achieve desired consistency

Spicy peanut sauce drips from spoon


  1. Drain firm tofu and press for 15 minutes to remove excess liquid. Slice thinly and cover with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, a pinch of salt, and some black pepper, and set aside. 
  2. As the tofu marinates, make the spicy peanut sauce. Combine all ingredients for the sauce that are listed above, stir, and add a little water to the sauce if you want to thin it out.  
  3. Rinse carrots, peel them into strips, I use a vegetable peeler, or spiralize them in order to create a “noodle” shape. Once you have your “noodles,” save your carrot scraps like the outer skin and carrot tops for stock, don’t throw them away!
  4. Add carrot “noodles” to a large bowl, chop up cilantro and basil, and add that to the carrot mixture. Then spoon in the peanut sauce. Add in however much you like, it will depend on how saucy you want your fish. I like to add 3 to 4 tablespoons. After you add your sauce, mix it up. 
  5. Next, add your soft ingredients. I add in my marinated tofu and I add in slice avocados. Since these ingredients break easily, I like to carefully fold them into the carrot mixture. 
  6. You can either plate this up right away, or you can store it in the refrigerator for a few hours to soak up the flavors. If you plan to eat later, I recommend adding the avocado close to when you’re about to serve the dish so it doesn’t oxidize. 
  7. Plate up a generous helping onto a plate and garnish with some sesame seeds, fresh herbs, and a little chili oil, and enjoy. 
Raw carrot salad covered in peanut sauce, served up on a dish
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