Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Peanut Butter Noodles

Recently my friends (and even my mom!) have been telling me that the recipes I've been posting have become too complicated.  So here's one of the simplest recipes I know; it was actually one of the first things I learned how to make when I started cooking in college.

The recipe comes from my friend, Jaleen, who, if I recall correctly, got it from her family.  You probably have all the main ingredients in your pantry already:  peanut butter, pasta, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar.  You literally don't even need measuring spoons for this; the sauce is made up of 3 parts peanut butter, 3 parts soy sauce, 1 part vinegar, 1 part sesame oil, and a pinch of sugar.  If I'm just making enough for myself, I use a small spoon, and if I want to make more than one serving, I'll grab a large spoon to measure.  I prefer to use smooth peanut butter, but this works just as well with chunky.  For the vinegar, rice wine vinegar is suggested, but regular white vinegar or cider vinegar would do in a pinch.

Depending on what else you have on hand, you can add a plethora of toppings:  toasted sesame seeds, sliced almonds, chopped scallions, shredded chicken, baked tofu, and shredded cucumbers are just a few ideas.  You can serve this dish cold or at room temperature so it's easily packable for lunch, picnic, or potluck.  See, I told you it was easy!  The hardest part about this recipe might be trying to mix the peanut butter into the other liquids without splashing, but if you stir carefully and long enough, you'll end up with a smooth, homogenous peanut sauce.

Peanut Butter Noodles
serves as many as you want

3 parts peanut butter
3 parts soy sauce
1 part sesame oil
1 part vinegar (rice wine vinegar preferred)
A pinch of sugar
Cooked noodles

Mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and sugar together until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy.

Toss with the cooked noodles, adding some of the pasta water if you want to thin out the sauce.  Serve with  toasted sesame seeds, sliced almonds, chopped scallions, shredded chicken, baked tofu, and/or shredded cucumbers if you like.

Next:  San Bei (Taiwanese Three Cup) Tofu and Ramen
Previously:  Zuppa Toscana
Last Year:  Flower Pavlovas, Banoffee Pie
Two Years Ago:  Spicy Tuna with Crispy Sushi Rice, Traditional Croissants
Five Years Ago:  Banana Bread Yeasted Waffles
Six Years Ago:  Nian Gao (Mochi Cake), Mayonnaise Shrimp with Candied Walnuts

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