Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sesame Peanut Noodles
I seem to be on a bit of an Asian Noodle kick lately. I think it's because I actually found soba noodles and miso paste and tofu at the Hippie Mart* near Adam's house. Asian ingredients are tough to come by in South Boston... we have rather limited grocery options. Anyway, I thought a bowl of cold (ok, room temp) spicy peanut noodles would about hit the spot, and I was right! I used three different colors of peppers because I had leftover peppers from a hummus plate the other night, but one small sweet bell pepper should get the job done. Add some cubes of tofu and you've got yourself a complete meal. More or fewer red pepper flakes will adjust the spice factor, and be careful not to use too much peanut butter or you'll end up with an unbalanced bowl of oddly sweet noodles that just tastes weird and sort of like a sandwich.
Soba noodles come separated into four little bunches within the package; I used one and had leftovers for lunch** the next day but this could easily be doubled to feed four. If you're using whole wheat spaghetti or unmeasured noodles, you want a bunch that has a diameter roughly the size of a quarter
Spicy Peanut Sesame Noodles
Soba noodles, one quarter sized bunch for two modest servings
3/4 cup cubed extra firm or firm tofu
1 small red bell pepper, sliced
2 scallions, sliced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
2-3 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter
generous 1/4 cup soy sauce2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped2-3 tablespoons rice vinegar2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
pinch of sugar or 1/2 teaspoon honey1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (or hot sauce)
Start a pot of water to boil while you make the dressing; when boiling add the soba and cook according to package directions (my noodles were fairly fine so they took about three minutes).
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce and add a couple of tablespoons of warm water. Whisk with a fork to combine until smooth, add more water if you want a thinner dressing. TASTE THE SAUCE. Adjust accordingly - if it's too sweet, add more soy sauce, if it's too salty add more peanut butter, add red pepper flakes or hot sauce for more spice. When it tastes the way you want it, set it aside.
When the soba noodles are done cooking drain and rinse under cool water, then return to the pot and add the dressing, tofu, peppers and scallions. Toss to combine, and divide into serving bowls. Top with toasted sesame seeds.
*Ok, so the Hippie Mart is actually Pemberton Farms in Cambridge, and it's more of a gourmet food store than a place to buy granola (not dissing granola, just using it as an example). We call it the Hippie Mart because it's not a corporate grocery store.
**When I took my noodles out of the fridge for lunch the peanut butter had congealed a bit and the noodles were all stuck together. I would let it come to room temp before eating leftovers in the future, or just eat it all for dinner!