Cold sesame and peanut noodles

5 10 2010

My cold sesame and peanut noodles

THE KEY to the perfect bowl of noodles is in the temperature of the broth.  I like mine scalding.  Often, a blister on the roof of my mouth equates to satiation.  Something that I wouldn’t get from a lukewarm bowl that seems apologetic for being tepid.

But I do have a couple of exceptions – my favorite cold buckwheat noodles (zaru soba) dipped in a Japanese soy and mirin sauce, wasabi on the side, and this cold sesame and peanut noodles that I first learned to make seven years ago.  It was made as one in a lavish spread of Chinese dishes on Tyler Florence’s Food 911 over on the FoodNetwork.  And from the episode, it was the recipe that got imprinted in my head.

I’ve since been making it on the fly.  And it never fails to deliver its own brand of comfort.  The warmth obviously couldn’t come from the broth that isn’t there.  It comes from subtle hints of the pungent earthiness of the ginger.  It never fails to leap off from the coyly sweet goodness of the peanut butter.  Then, as you chew on the noodles – perfect in doneness as if its Italian al dente pasta – the pronounced nutty goodness of roasted sesame oil coats the tongue, perfumes the mouth, satisfies the palate.  Cold sesame and peanut noodles, its perfect for cozying up in bed with a book, or for lounging ‘round while watching TV or a good DVD.

To make this dish, you will need:

200 grams (about half a pound) of dried egg noodles, cooked to package directions

Three tablespoons of roasted sesame oil

A pinch of salt

Two tablespoons of canola oil

Three cloves of garlic, finely minced

A thumb (about one inch) of ginger, finely grated

A bunch of scallions or spring onions, finely chopped

Two tablespoons of dark brown sugar

Three tablespoons of naturally brewed light soy sauce

Three tablespoons of rice wine vinegar

One tablespoon of chili garlic in oil (like Chiu Chow Chili Oil)

Three tablespoons (or more) of water

Half a cup of natural peanut butter

In a large bowl, mix together the cooked egg noodles, the roasted sesame oil, and salt.  Mix well until each strand of egg noodle is coated with the oil and salt.  It is best to do this with really clean hands.  Or if you prefer, a fork.

In a large heavy bottom skillet – I use my 11” Meyer 18/10 Stainless Steel Impact-Bonded pan – heat the canola oil over low to medium heat.  All at once, add the garlic, ginger and scallions.  Sauté to cook, without even the slightest of browning.  Add the dark brown sugar.  Continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved and is slowly thickening up the sauté.  Add the light soy sauce and the rice wine vinegar.  Do not stir until the mixture has come back to a delicate simmer.  Add the peanut butter, stirring well to melt it into the sauce.  If you want to thin the mixture, add about three tablespoons of water.  Finish this off with the addition of the chili garlic in oil.  Again, mix well.

Pour the sauce on to the sesame noodles and mix well.  You can serve this immediately, or allow the dish to cool a bit.  This is usually served as a side to barbecued or teriyaki-glazed spareribs.  But I enjoy it as is.

Sau Tao egg noodles. I love these! They're also available in the "shrimp" variant. I would use that for more savory sauces.

 

Each one-pound pack has ten of these noodle bundles.

 

Almost all the seasonings needed for my cold sesame and peanut noodles. Only the dark brown sugar is missing here.

 

Making my Chinese-inspired cold sesame and peanut noodles is a study in globalization. The sesame oil is from Singapore. The canola oil is from the States. The rice wine vinegar from Japan, as well as the soy sauce. The chili oil is from China by way of Hong Kong. And the peanut butter is from the States.

 

For a change, I precisely measured everything for this recipe. A little non-stick vegetable oil spray on my Farberware measuring cup allowed for easy release of the sticky peanut butter.

 

Half a cup of yummy peanut butter!

 

The holy trinity of root aromatics for this recipe – garlic, ginger, and scallions.

 

Literally, a thumb of ginger. Hahaha!

 

All the prep work's done! – finely grated ginger, finely minced garlic, and finely chopped scallions.

 

Sauteing the root aromatics in canola oil.

 

Two tablespoons of dark brown sugar are added to the saute.

 

The sugar dissolves and thickens the saute.

 

(Almost) Finally, the peanut butter is put in.

 

Done! YUM-O!

 

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

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3 responses

5 10 2010
Darryl

good job Enteng! Looks delicious…

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5 10 2010
entengvince

Wow! The Darryl reads my blog. I’m so honored =)

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5 10 2010
brendz

oh wow enteng! i gotta taste this! since it’s good (or better) cold anyway, can you bring some??? puhleeeeezee… 🙂

my goodness, you mentioned tyler florence… now i feel this emptiness again after losing my favorite channel of all time — the lifestyle network… 😦

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