You know those days when you need something to throw together at a moment’s notice?
You know, like, every day?
Have I got a recipe for you. I know that cookbooks these days sometimes seem to be going the way of the dodo (no, I will never let go of my mother’s service group cookbook they put together in my small town in Florida, thankyouverymuch) and I admit that most of my recipes come from online, but I recently invested in this cookbook and I can honestly say there has yet to be a dud.
This book is called (are you ready for this? You might die of kitsch here…) 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know. If you’re looking for a great cookbook for your 20something friend/daughter/niece/etc. I cannot recommend this book enough. Every recipe is simple, easy, and, well, scrumptious. The names of the recipes are all kitschy and this one in the book is titled, “Hot Date Cool Noodles” but I call it either Peanut Sauce Noodles or Spicy Peanut Noodles. It takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and is so worth it.
For the cast of characters: cilantro, sesame oil, peanut butter, sriracha (the recipe doesn’t call for this but it’s TASTY in it, trust me), soba noodles (yes, you can find this in a normal-not-Whole-Foods store), red pepper flakes, fresh lime juice, cilantro, and scallions. And you’ll need soy sauce. Which I forgot to picture. Life went on.
And here’s what I used to make this dish (other than the pot to boil the noodles in): my mixer.
I love this mixer. It’s a hand-me-down from one of my friends who got married and got a better mixer from her registry. It’s nice sometimes to be part of the plebeian unmarried folks sometimes – you can get things like mixers that work wonderfully for free.
(And yes, you can absolutely use your food processor for this if you like, but mine is huge and really for this recipe a blender works just as well.)
I actually ended up doubling the amounts listed in the recipe for the sauce. So that’s why some of the measurements might seem odd.
First comes the peanut butter. I used about a quarter of a cup.
One teaspoon of red pepper flakes (spicy! yummy!)
A haiku on red pepper flakes:
O, red pepper flakes!
You are indeed quite spicy.
Please never leave me.
Ahem. If those crickets chirping could please quiet down, we can move along.
The honey came next. About 4 teaspoons, which for me is 4 big squeezes of your bear or so.
Next, 4 teaspoons of lime juice….
Things I forgot to buy at the grocery store: fresh limes. Things I used instead: bottled lime juice in my fridge. Things I didn’t stress about: please see above.
And two tablespoons of soy sauce…
And two tablespoons of sesame oil.
This next ingredient is completely optional, out of the recipe as written, and you will need to do this to suit your spice tastes. Me? I like things spicy and I added probably two teaspoons or so of Sriracha sauce. However, add a little to start off with, blend, and then add more after blending if you want it spicier.
Pop the top your blender, mix it up for a few seconds, taste it, add some more Sriracha if that’s your thing (it’s my thing), and heat up a pot of water, because next come the soba noodles.
Oh, you’re not familiar with soba noodles? Neither was I. From my extensive research (reading the label) I learned that they’re buckwheat noodles. And you know what else I learned? They cook in three minutes.
Three minutes. That’s it. t.h.r.e.e. m.i.n.u.t.e.s.
I like soba noodles now. It helps that they’re delicious. I bought a 9.3-oz package (each of those three tidy packets is 3.1 oz.) despite the recipe calling for 12 ounces. Let me impress this upon you: 9 ounces was too much for LSB and I’s hearty appetites.
So boil that water (this took longer than the actual cooking of the noodles), cook the noodles, and drain them. I know you all know how to do that.
Then plop some of those soba puppies on a plate, drizzle some of that sauce on the noodles, and garnish with fresh cilantro and fresh scallions you sliced up when you were waiting for the water to boil.
It’ll look something like this.
So there you have it! Probably one of the more customized recipes I’ve made, but it’s delish. I put my changes in italics below in the full recipe.
Hot Date Cool Noodles (Peanut Noodles/Spicy Peanut Noodles)
One 12-ounce package soba, udon or lo-mein noodles (9.3 ounces)
2 tablespoons peanut butter, chunky or smooth (4 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (1 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons honey (4 teaspoons/4 big-ish squeezes of your honey)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (2 tablespoons)
~2 teaspoons of Sriracha sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, or more to taste
2-3 scallions, chopped (or more to taste)1 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional) I didn’t do that part.
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a large pinch salt. Add the noodles and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain.
(I did this after I made the sauce so the noodles wouldn’t get sticky.)
2. Meanwhile, in a blender or mini food processor, mix the peanut butter, red pepper flakes, honey, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon water.
3. While the noodles are still warm, toss them with the sauce, cilantro, and scallions. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds, if using (I didn’t use them). Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or chilled.