July 22, 2011

Sesame Peanut Noodles

I've made this dish before. I've even posted about it before (see post). Hmmm, that must mean that it's actually summer, not that you can tell from the weather. Still, this salad is delicious no matter what the weather.

This is a Nigella recipe, and it really only needs minor tweaks to suit my needs. You can see the official version of the recipe here, and my version below.

The first time I made this dish, I added some chicken to round it out as a meal, but in all honesty, it doesn't need anything added to it. It does make a lovely side dish, though, so if you've got a few skewers of shrimp on the grill and you're looking for a low-maintenance make-ahead side, this is definitely a great place to start.

Sesame Peanut Noodles
Adapted from Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sambal oelek (or sriracha)
100 grams smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey (use agave syrup for vegan)

125 grams snow peas, sliced thinly, diagonally
1 red pepper, julienned
125 grams zucchini, julienned
2 green onions, finely sliced
500 grams Chinese-style steam noodles

Toasted sesame seeds

Directions are almost superfluous, here. Slice the vegetables, cook the noodles, and drain them, shocking them with cold water to stop the cooking process. Combine the dressing ingredients and beat until smooth, and then toss the noodles, the vegetables, and the dressing together.

You can vary the vegetables, of course. I replaced the bean sprouts in the original with julienned zucchini, and now I can't imagine making it any other way. Using a variety of peppers might add an extra splash of colour, too - combine red, yellow, and orange pepper strips for a little extra visual punch. Radish or jicama strips might also go nicely in here.

Having made this a couple of times, it should be said that you simply must use your hands to effectively combine everything. in the final assembly stage, otherwise, no matter how big your bowl and how dextrous your fork-handling, you will not get the dressing and vegetables properly integrated throughout the noodles. With fingers, though - quick business.

Another note is regarding peanut butter: use the very best tasting peanut butter, please. This is not the way to use up what my family calls "dried up wrinkly old" peanut butter, aka the desiccated natural peanut butter in the bottom of the jar, which I did in my last posting of this recipe. I'm currently raving about Nuts to You smooth organic peanut butter, which is by far the best I've ever tasted (plus, it has an awesome ingredient list: peanuts). Everything I make with that peanut butter is somehow amazing!

The salad travels well for lunches, too, although it seems to like a little extra soy sauce to perk it up a bit.

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