Noodles in Peanut sauce

Noodles in Peanut sauce
Rice noodles are a staple in my pantry. I normally use it in pad thai, or with stir-fried vegetables. But today, I had some gorgeous dry-roasted peanuts on hand. Normally, peanut sauce recipe would call for peanut butter. But I don’t like that, because packaged peanut butter contains hydrogenated oils and way too much sugar. Make your peanut sauce from real peanuts, you can really taste the difference. And it’s just as easy to make, comes together in a blender/food-processor in minutes.

Noodles in Peanut sauce:

Ingredients:

Rice noodles – 250 grams (serves 4)

Scallions – a small bunch (or 1 regular onion)

Carrot  – 2 (julienned)

Bean sprouts – 50 grams

Egg – 1

Cilantro and roasted peanuts for garnish

For the sauce:

Dry roasted peanuts – 1 cup

Red chili – 2 (or sriracha or similar chili sauce 1 tsp)

Brown sugar – 1 tablespoon

Soy sauce – 2 tbsp (I used the low sodium kind)

Fresh ginger – 1 big piece

Garlic – 1 – 3 cloves (depends on how garlicky you want it to taste)

Lime juice – 1/2 a lime

Salt to taste (add at the end, depends on how salty your soy sauce is)

Method:

1. Cook noodles as per package instructions. Take care not to over cook.

2. Blend all the ingredients for sauce into a fine paste. Add a bit of water/stock to thin it out if too thick.

3. Heat a wok (or just any wide pan) on high heat, add a splash of vegetable oil, and add the scallions. After about a minute add the carrots. Then in a minute add the egg and scramble it. Finally add the sprouts. Cook for about a minute or 2, it should still be crunchy.

4. Add the cooked (and drained) noodles and the sauce. (Don’t add all the sauce at once, 3/4 of it, taste and add more if needed)

5. Mix well, top off with chopped cilantro, and peanuts. Serve.

Tips:

1. You can make the sauce ahead. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a week or so. Double the batch and save the rest to serve as dipping sauce: with carrot sticks or rice paper rolls!

2. For an interesting twist, replace lime juice with tamarind paste and brown sugar with jaggery. Or add a bit of coconut milk.

3. Add any other vegetables you have on hand – make sure they are julienned as well so they cook evenly. When I am in a hurry, I just use the wide side of a box grater to shred my carrots instead of julienning.

4. You could also add a couple of drops of sesame oil while stir-frying, and then top it off with toasted sesame seeds.

5. Add shrimp (with a splash of fish sauce in while blending) or firm tofu to the stir-fry if you wish.

6. I like it when it’s served at room temperature too. Hence perfect for make-ahead parties/picnics.

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