Friday, April 6, 2012

Sesame Noodles

(forgot to add the cilantro for the picture - sorry!)

On Monday's note, here is another DELICIOUS meatless recipe.  I can't stress that enough.  This is my new favorite thing ever EVER!  And my family is so in love with it too.  My almost-3-yr-old devours this every time I make it and gets so excited when he hears it's for dinner.  In fact, I'll probably make this for his birthday because he loves it so much.

It's quite simple.  It's a Thai-inspired peanut sauce with a little or a lot of spice (depending on what you like) and you can adapt the add-ins however you like.  I found this recipe in the new Cook's Illustrated cookbook and it has several variations.  We first tried it the main way it suggested - with shredded chicken and no peppers or cucumbers.  But we found that the chicken really didn't add anything spectacular, so the next time we tried it the veggie way (along with a few other tweaks here and there that I will note).  We all enjoyed it better that way.  It's topped with a bunch of chopped up cilantro, which adds the perfect coolness to it, and it is just amazing!  You can throw in whatever else you like too.

This dish can be served warm, cold, or room temperature.  We've eaten it all ways and I think my favorite is somewhere in between room temperature and warm. :)  Enjoy!

*Try to find sesame seeds in bulk and it will save you money.  I found a bag at an Indian food store here in the city and they were super cheap.  To toast, just put them in a small fry pan over medium heat for a few minutes until they start to turn light brown.  As for the hot sauce, the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon.  I love spicy food, but I thought this was way too much.  I usually just do a small drop.  Adjust according to your tastes.

Sesame Noodles

Sauce:
3 T. sesame seeds, toasted*
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
5 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T. light brown sugar
1 T. grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8-1/2 tsp. hot sauce*
5 T. hot water

Noodles:
12 oz. dried spaghetti noodles
2 T. toasted sesame oil (I just used regular sesame oil)
4 scallions, sliced thin on bias
1 carrot, grated
1 red bell pepper, sliced in 1/4" strips
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced 1/8" thin
1/3 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

For the sauce: Puree 2 T. sesame seeds, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, and hot sauce in blender or food processor, about 30 seconds.  With machine running, add hot water, 1 T. at a time, until sauce has consistency of heavy cream.  (If using natural peanut butter it will be a little thinner).

For the noodles:  Cook noodles according to package directions, until tender.  Drain, then rinse and drain again.  Transfer to large bowl, add sesame oil, and toss to coat.  Add scallions, carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, and sauce and toss to combine.  Divide among bowls, sprinkle with remaining 1 T. sesame seeds and cilantro, and serve.

3 comments:

Mark and Elaina said...

I hope you don't mind that I'm pinning this. :) One of my friends just got kicked off pinterest with a threat of fines and/or jail for pinning something that was copyrighted, unbeknownst to her. YIKES! So I just wanted to tell you. I also pinned your spicy bean burritos and got LOTS of repins. A compliment to you! Can't wait to try both!

Sarah said...

Thanks Elaina! I always cite my sources, so hopefully I'll be okay. :) I hope you like them!

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