Friday, September 5, 2008

Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce

Peanut sauce. I'm sold.

You should know, straight up, my love for peanut butter. I halved this recipe (to make a reasonable portion size for 2 adults), yet made the full amount of sauce. Guilty. In my defense, a pregnant girl is allowed some liberties.

I found this scrumptious recipe on Smitten Kitchen. I changed up most of the ingredients, and used whole wheat soba noodles (she says you can also use pasta, which I agree and might do in the future). They look brown in the pictures, but looked purple in person. Tim was quite weary of them, and they don't make for a nice presentation. Of course, they tasted great, but I'd serve regular or pasta for guests.

In addition to the peanut sauce, what I loved about this recipe, is that it seemed easy to manipulate. I do that a lot. I like to use what I have on hand, or what sounds good that day, or what's fresh at the market... obviously, a 'strict, must be exact' recipe would not go over well. One of the reasons why I don't bake very often.

Anyway, off to the market I went, bought my fresh veggies, and I was practically done. Seriously, the recipe took about 30 minutes total to make - uber (very) easy. And other than the fresh ingredients, you probably have everything in your pantry. So, lets get cookin!

Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Peanut dressing:
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes or a splash of the hot sauce or chili paste of your choice

3/4 lb dried soba noodles (dried linguine fini or spaghetti will work in a pinch)
4 scallions or 1/4 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips

Heaping handful of green beans, ends discarded and cut in half (bite size pieces)

1 zucchini, quartered and cut cross-wise
1 package firm or extra-firm tofu, cubed (marinated in soy sauce for a few hours, if preferred)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (optional)

Puree dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 2 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl. (Will keep in the fridge, but if it gets too thick, you may need to allow time to bring it to room temperature. Mine stayed in the fridge for 1 hour and was still saucy/smooth.)

Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain in a colander, then rinse well under cold water. (Soba noodles are typically served cold, and need the cold water to stop them from cooking - i.e. getting mushy.)

Add pasta, vegetables and tofu to dressing, tossing to combine. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.

More soba noodle recipes:

Guten appetit!


Skye said...

mmmm this looks good.

Grace said...

Laura, On my blog, I have a recipe for tofu/green beans with peanut sauce that I found in one of my cookbooks. It sounds weird, but was really good. You might want to check it out if you are a fan of peanut sauce!

Grace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grace said...

I tried to get it to hyperlink, but it won't. You'll just have to copy and paste it to see it!