Yankee Bill had a potluck style luncheon at work yesterday and specifically requested that I make up a big batch of my “Spicy Thai Noodles” to send in. This is an Asian inspired favorite that my sister (SportyRN) brought back from Kwajelein the first time she lived out there and introduced our entire family to. It probably has nothing to do with Thailand, but the combination of peanut and cilantro brings that part of the world to mind, so the name stuck.
This is a completely vegetarian dish (although you could probably add in some chicken if you want-after all Satay is a chicken dish that has a peanut sauce, and that is totally yummy). I do recommend that if you make it and take it anywhere that you visibly label it as being made with peanut butter-at first glance noone would guess and you’d hate to have someone have an allergic reaction and go seize up on you!
This is also a very frugal recipe. There are two “odd” or “exotic” elements.
The first is the sesame oil which can be skipped or substituted with olive oil-but it adds such a yummy flavor! I highly recommend splurging on a bottle at your local Asian grocery store and drizzling a little in with whatever bland oil you usually use in your stir fries. You will notice a more “Asian” flavor to your dishes.
The second is cilantro. Cilantro is also know as Chinese parsley, and is used in both Mexican and Asian cooking. I buy it in a 1/2 cup bag (approx) at the Mennonite bulk food store and then keep it in the freezer. I then add a pinch to all sorts of Mexican and Asian dishes, as well as using about 2 TBS to this recipe.
Here we go!
1 pkg very thin Chinese noodles (or spaghetti – thin)
2 tsp. sesame oil (can be made without… but sesame oil tastes soooo good!)
Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/2 Cup Peanut butter (smooth)
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce (I use the Lite with less salt)
3 – 5 Tbs. Chopped Cilantro (dried is stronger than fresh, so use about half)
5 Tbs. Sugar (Splenda works fine too)
2 Tbs. minced garlic (I use jarred)
2 Tbs. salad oil (I have made it without and it works fine)
1/4 – 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
Combine all “sauce” ingredients in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until blended and the consistency of mayonnaise (if too thick add hot water).
Cook noodles according to directions. Toss with the sesame oil, then add sauce. Garnish with extra cilantro.
For YB’s luncheon this time I made them up and sent them in the crockpot (which probably wasn’t the best idea-after being plugged in all morning I think they dried out some, even with extra water added to the sauce-in my defense I was worried about the whole office trying to use the single microwave to heat stuff up simultaneously). Probably the best method for a potluck is to bring them and then heat in a microwave.
People are frequently a little skeptical about this dish as it sounds a bit odd-but I have learned to bring copies of the recipe with me whenever I bring it. . . . . folks always want to know!
The sauce can also be made up ahead of time, and even frozen (although due to the salt and PB it never freezes quite solid). My bachelor brother, Doctor Ted, makes this up and keeps it in the freezer, then adds it to pasta a few TBS at a time for a quick and tasty dinner.