These noodles are another one of my quick and easy weeknight meals. I have found several peanut or sesame noodle recipes and tinkered with them until I came up with this one, which I think has the perfect blend of spiciness, peanutty-ness and just a touch of sweetness. When I was growing up my mother always made cold sesame noodles for every potluck I went to. She tossed in cooked shredded chicken breast, shredded snow peas, shredded carrots, chopped peanuts and a few other things depending what was in the fridge. While I love her cold sesame noodles as a lunch or potluck option, I rarely find them sufficient by themselves for dinner. For dinner I usually want something warm - particularly in the winter when it is cold outside.
From beginning to end these noodles take less than 30 minutes, which is fabulous on a Wednesday night in the middle of a busy week. You can also add whatever vegetables you happen to have around the house. Tonight we used fresh shitake mushrooms and tofu. I felt the need to do a nice vegetarian meal this evening after pigging out on a big fat cheeseburger from Five Guys last night for dinner. Usually if I have red bell peppers, carrots or snow peas I shred them or slice thinly and throw them in when I toss the noodles with the sauce, but the fridge was a little barren this week. Anyway, the beauty of a recipe like this is that you can feel free to add whatever you want to your noodles. Get creative!
Recipe after the jump!
Spicy Peanut Noodles
3/4 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
3 tsp chili-garlic paste/sambal (or less if you don't like spicy food)
1 tbsp sesame oil
8 oz udon or soba noodles (or spaghetti)
1/4 cup scallions, chopped, plus additional chopped scallion greens for garnish14 oz package firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (or 1 cup pre-cooked chopped chicken breast)
1/2 cup fresh shitakes, chopped with stems removed (optional)
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
Cook noodles according to package directions in a medium sauce pan. Drain.
Meanwhile, in another sauce pan or saute pan over medium heat, combine chicken stock, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, chili-garlic paste, and sesame oil. Stir to combine. Add tofu or chicken breast and shitake mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until peanut butter melts and sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once noodles are done, toss into sauce with chopped scallions. Stir to coat noodles thoroughly with sauce and cook together for 1 minute.
Serve noodles in bowls garnished with scallion green tops, peanuts, or cilantro.