Photo and column by Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review
Thai peanut noodles
I don’t think I need to sell you on how fantastically scrumptious these noodles are. They’re sweet, spicy and so full of flavor. Just look at the picture! Makes you hungry, doesn’t it? I scoured the Internet for different sauce recipes, and tried two others before I stumbled upon one and adapted it. Looks like the third time is a charm!
Makes: 4 servings
For the peanut sauce:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1/2 a lime)
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled, grated
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 bunch cilantro
1/2- 3/4 cup water
For the noodles:
1 pound soba noodles
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/3 cup green onions
Directions: Chop the cilantro leaves and the garlic, then peel and grate the fresh ginger. The sauce is very straightforward, don’t worry! Mix all of the ingredients except for the water and the hot sauce together in a bowl or food processor until it makes a paste. Then, add the hot sauce to your taste—one teaspoon was to my taste—and then add enough water to make the sauce smooth, but not too watery. The amount of water will depend on the kind of peanut butter you use; organic peanut butter tends to have more oil and might not need as much water as standard creamy peanut butter.
In a pot of boiling water, add the soba noodles and cook as directed, usually about 10 minutes for al dente pasta. Drain the noodles and move them to a mixing bowl. Pour the peanut sauce in and stir well, adding in the chopped green onions and the sesame seeds. I would suggest unless you’re cooking for four, to actually only prepare as many noodles as you’re going to eat. Storing the noodles and sauce together makes for pretty dry leftovers, but if you store the sauce and cooked noodles separately you make great leftovers every time. Storing the sauce separately also means you can use it for dressing, marinade or a dipping sauce. You can eat the noodles by themselves, as a side dish or serve them with steamed broccoli, chicken or tofu as an entrée.