A jar of this in the fridge means that with a little ingenuity you will have some sort of dinner at some point. Before we get to the noodle part, let’s talk about the myriad other ways this sauce can be useful.
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How to Use Peanut Sauce:
You could drizzle it over a piece of grilled salmon, or steak, you could serve it with vegetables as a crudité drip. Toss it with some slivered cabbage, particularly Napa cabbage, for an impromptu Asian slaw, and add shredded chicken if you like and it becomes a protein-packed meal.
You could also serve this with dumplings or spring rolls of all kinds, or chicken or beef satay or skewers. You could also roll up almost anything with a little bit of this sauce in lettuce leaves (like grated carrots and sliced turkey, or shredded chicken and cucumber) and have yourself a lovely Asian wrap.
Peanut Sauce Noodles
Ok, now, to the noodles.
There was a similar recipe in The Mom 100 Cookbook, smacked with some sesame oil and ginger. This version is heavy on the peanut butter, and also calls for chili garlic paste, a wonderful Asian condiment that you should probably considering investing a few bucks in, especially if you like making Asian food.
Chili Garlic Paste Substitution
If you don’t have chili garlic paste you could use sambel olek (similar) or even just ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes instead. If you wanted to add some other vegetables, slivered peppers or carrots, for instance, you go right ahead.
What Kind of Noodles to Use with Peanut Sauce:
I love this with udon noodles, those soft pillowy slippery Japanese noodles, that are available everywhere, but you can make this with any long skinny pasta you might have on hand. If you glance at the ingredient list, you’ll see this is a pasta dish that many of us could make for a last minute dinner with ingredients already in the pantry.
This sauce will thicken up as it sits, and the pasta will get a bit clumpy. If you can’t serve it right away because the dog peed on the rug (sorry, but this happened) or your kids just won’t some out of their rooms (this often happens) you can toss it with another few tablespoons of hot water to loosen everything back up just before serving. It’s great even just barely warm.
Variations on Noodles with Peanut Sauce
The noodles can be prepared just as you see below, but they are also able to be adorned in any way you see fit, with whatever you have on hand. Try halved and sliced cucumbers, peeled and shredded or thinly sliced carrots, tiny cooked broccoli florets, slivered bell pepper, or if you want a non-vegetarian version, shredded chicken or pork would be an excellent add-in.
What the Kids Can Do:
The kids can measure and dump the sauce ingredients into the blender or food processor. With appropriate supervision they can toss the hot noodles with the sauce. They can decide what else might be god to add to the noodles and shred or slice anything you feel is ok for them to shred and slice, depending on age and experience.
Other Asian-Inspired Noodle Recipes:
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Noodles with Peanut Sauce
- 8 ounces angel hair or other skinny pasta or udon noodles
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup hot water or more as needed
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ½ teaspoon chili garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ cup slivered radishes julienned, or cut into matchsticks
- ½ cup sliced scallions white and green parts
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While the noodles are cooking, put the peanut butter, water, soy sauce, lime juice, chili paste, brown sugar or honey, and garlic in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return the pasta to the pot. Add the sauce and toss until well coated. If you need to add more hot water to loosen the sauce so it distributes easily over the noodles, add more.
- Turn the pasta into a shallow serving bowl and top with the radishes and scallions. Toss and serve warm.
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