Sometimes it’s hard to post “everyday” dishes. It’s more fun to post grand culinary adventures or epic baking projects. Everyday dishes are what I toss together without measuring after realizing that I should have eaten an hour ago and my blood sugar level has dropped precipitously to the point where I am having trouble deciding how to best feed myself. The food gets slopped on a plate and inhaled quickly. Only then, my blood sugar at a more reasonable level, do I consider that I should have written down the ingredients and taken a photo.
This is one of those dishes, but I promised a friend I would measure and post the recipe. I’ve made this dish three times since I told her that, but this is the time I actually thought about the measurements and took photos. The great thing about sesame peanut noodles is that you can vary it so many ways depending on the temperature, your mood, and the contents of your fridge. Serve it warm, cold, or room temperature. Add some protein or veggies. It can be as complex or basic as you want.
One thing that motivated me to make this dish was the cucumbers from our CSA. It hasn’t been hot enough to make cucumbers that appealing to me, so adding them to a heartier dish made it work for me.
First I want to share a fun trick! The cucumbers work best for this cut into matchsticks (julienned) but their cylindrical shape leads to a lot of waste. Instead, slice the cucumber at a sharp angle into long planks. Stack the planks more evenly, then slice them lengthwise into sticks. Much easier, faster, and more economical. Also works for carrots!
This round I didn’t get too fancy. Noodles, sauce, and sesame seeds served with some cucumber and crunchy pea shoots from the CSA share. The freshness of the vegetables really helped cut the richness of the sauce. Oh, and they’re good for me.
Simple Sesame Peanut Noodles
Yields 2 servings
This is a basic recipe with so much room for variation. Add broccoli, tofu, shrimp, or chicken. Garnish with sprouts or cilantro. Add sauteed Napa cabbage and scallions. Make extra for lunch the next day or take it on a picnic.
- 4 ounces dry long pasta such as whole wheat spaghetti or soba
- 1 small cucumber
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
- 1 tablespoon peanut, sesame, or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Cook pasta according to instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain.
- Cut cucumber into small matchsticks about 2 inches long.
- In a medium bowl combine peanut butter, oils, soy sauce, and vinegar. Whisk. Stir in minced garlic.
- Add cooked pasta to sauce. Toss to coat. If sauce seems too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water. Serve warm, room temperature, or cool, garnished with cucumber.
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