Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Peanut Sesame Noodles

As I was mixing the sauce for this dish together last night, I got hung up on the peanut butter. The same stuff that pairs so wonderfully with strawberry jam works just as well with soy and ginger for a savory sauce. It can flavor spicy north African dishes or mix with chocolate, serve as a dip for celery or apples. I can think of few foods with such versatility.

I highly recommend using a natural peanut butter for this recipe. This means no Skippy; instead you want the non-high fructose corn syrup kind--available at Trader Joe's and health food stores. You'll get a richer, more peanuty flavor without the extra sweetner.

As for the noodles, you have lots of options, but I'm partial to yam soba (buckwheat) noodles. These light purplish-brown beauties have a sweet, nutty flavor, and provide a tasty contrast when mixed with plain wheat-flour somen noodles as I did. Most regular grocery stores in Los Angeles carry some form of Asian noodles, but I found the yam ones at Surfas and the others at a Thai market in my neighborhood.

Peanut Sesame Noodles
dinner for two, with lots of leftovers for the next day's lunch

4 tbsp. soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 inch square of fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp sugar
3-4 large spoonfuls natural peanut butter
1-2 dashes rice wine vinegar
2-3 dashes hot sauce (Tabasco or Srichacha)
1 tsp. salt
8-10 oz. Asian noodles, preferably soba or somen
2 tbsp. sesame oil
black and white sesame seeds

Mix the first 8 ingredients together in a nonreactive bowl and set aside.

Cook your noodles in a large pot of boiling water, following the directions on the package (probably for 3-5 minutes). Drain and rinse well with cold water. Return to pot and mix noodles with 2 tbsp. sesame oil.

If you want to eat your noodles cold, let them cool in the oil before mixing the peanut sauce with them. This will help the flavors stay bright. If you're eating them right away, mix the peanut sauce in right away and enjoy. Sprinkle sesame seeds on individual portions for extra flavor and crunch.


Jessica said...

Those look waaaay better than the sesame noodles I made up the other week!

BoLA said...

Mmm....your peanut sesame noodles look absolutely delicious! A must try for me! =)

Erin S. said...

Jess--I don't know about that. The chopsticks-as-prop helps I'm sure :)

Bola--Definitely try them--they take about 5 minutes and of course you can totally mess with the proportions, etc.

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Terence said...

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