Saturday, February 02, 2008

Teen-Tested (and approved) Easy Peanut Noodles

One of my teen's favorite recipes, because it's quick, easy, filling and doesn't have a lot of "weird, leafy vegetables" in it. (Note that I have added some suggestions for vegetables at the end.) Not that they don't like veggies, some days however, they just want to stir together something easy and quick.
It's a heck of a lot better than Cup-A-Noodles too!

Just be aware that my girls like stuff medium-spicy, adjust spices as you prefer.
Easy Peanut Noodles

1/2 cup vegetable or veggie-chicken-style broth
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger root (substituting dry ground ginger will NOT work well here)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy, chunky, plain, natural style, whatever)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup or agave necter (or corn syrup works in a pinch)
1 - 2 teaspoons hot chile paste (like Schiracha - from an asian market or well-stocked supermarket) or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 cloves garlic, pressed thru garlic press
1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice or red wine vinegar

8 ounces noodles of your choice: Udon noodles, Buckwheat Soba noodles, thin vermicelli noodles or rice sticks (like for Pad Thai), plain ol' unseasoned Ramen noodles or whole wheat spaghetti!!

-- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
-- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
-- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

First cook the noodles according to package directions for whatever type of noodles you have.
Drain and set aside, covered, to keep warm.

Meanwhile, (or while noodles are cooking if you can do two things at once) combine broth, ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter, syrup, chili paste, lime juice and garlic in a small saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring until peanut butter melts and is heated through. Add noodles, and toss to coat.

Garnish with toppings: green onions, cilantro and peanuts. It's these garnishes that REALLY make this dish special!

At this point you can add whatever optional ingredients sound good, depending on who is making the dish:
-- Lightly stir-fried veggies of your choice
-- coarsely chopped fresh spinich
-- fresh bean sprouts
-- toasted sesame seeds or almonds
-- chick peas/garbanzos
-- crispy cubes of tofu (see picture - we get these ready-made at the Asian Market. Flash-fried an even brown using a whole lot less oil than when I try it. Yum!)
I love this recipe because it's so versatile - you can make it many different ways, depending on what ingredients you have on hand and it's all good.
My older Sprouts make this with no written recipe, each adding variations that suit them, my youngest gets in these moods where she begs for it almost every day after school. And hey, it can be a "snack" OR a whole meal, your call.

Sometimes we do the stuff just "plain" and other times, we (well, mostly I) add LOTS of lightly sauteed veggies according to what's in the fridge that day - red pepper strips, carrots, green beans, bean sprouts, red onion and/or brocolli. When the girls cook, it's usually some pea pods, carrots and fried tofu cubes.


textual bulldog said...

I love peanut noodles! They're such a quick and easy meal. I love to add zucchini, carrots, and peas to mine :)

Monika K said...

I love how quick and simple this meal sounds, even if you don't add "weird, leafy veggies". (-: I'm having trouble thinking straight, though, after seeing the ginger pumpkin scones below...

Carrie™ said...

Wow! How quick and easy is this? I love recipes that you can adapt to use up whatever is hanging around in your fridge.

Anonymous said...

i buy fried tofu cubes all the time...just love them. Sometimes I'll chop them up and use them in recipes, and sometimes i just throw them in a stir fry. I hear what you mean about not being able to recreate these on your own...I've had no luck at that either.

Cody said...

Peanut sauce is so yummy. Unfortunately, I haven't quite mastered it, even after trying three different recipes.

Maybe I'll have to give yours a try.

Michelle said...

i love peanut noodles, especially with lots of veggies (no tofu for me, please!)

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

i'll HAVE to try these asap.

Julie said...

those look so awesome for such a simple meal. i'm with your girls on this one-sometimes i just want some noodles without the "healthy" stuff. thanks for the recipe!

Amy said...

I made something like this from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook last week--basically a stir fry of tofu and broccoli with a peanut sauce served over rice. The sauce was very similar to what you have here so I bet they tasted alike!

lobsteriffic said...

These look sooo good! I love peanut noodles but I never eat them anymore because my bf is allergic and I don't want to accidentally kill him. :)

By the way - I just started reading your blog - I love all of your yummy looking recipes!

Veg-a-Nut said...

These look so good! I am going to try these this weekend. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Susan said...

These look so amazing! I am going to make these tomorrow night--but I thnk I will add some veggies. My kids like to leave out the veggies, too, but I am a mean mom, Mwahahaha. ;-)

Susan said...

I just had to come back and report--these were amazing! The kids said they were spicy and they didn't like them, but they finished the portions I gave them, so it couldn't have been that bad. We will definitely be having this again! Thanks!