I am by no means experienced in Asian cooking. It’s the one area in the kitchen I don’t feel too inclined to explore. I’d much rather eat out for Japanese, Chinese, or Thai food (etc) and call it a day. However, there is one dish I’ve taken to making at home- Sesame Noodles. Granted it’s probably one of the most Americanized dishes at a Chinese restaurant, but I love it anyway (largely due to the presence of peanut butter in the sauce). Plus, any sauce that just requires throwing items in a blender and hitting on is an ideal weeknight recipe in my book. We paired these noodles with baked tofu (Gasp! How un-Contessa like of me) as we’re trying to eat less meat, but sauteed shrimp or chicken would also work well. Toss the raw shrimp or chicken in a few tablespoons of the sauce, allow seafood/meat to marinate for at least 30 minutes, and then cook in a lightly oiled frying pan. Serve over tossed noodles.
Spicy Sesame Noodles adapted from Dana Treat
1 pound rice noodles
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
4 T soy sauce
½ cup water
1 T sesame oil
2 tsp crushed red pepper flake
1/4 tsp dried ginger
1 large garlic clove
scallions and sesame seeds for topping
Set a large pot of water to boil. Cook rice noodles for five minutes (do not overcook or they will stick together!), drain, and rinse under cold water to stop cooking process. Place in large bowl and toss with 2 T vegetable oil so noodles don’t stick together.
In a blender or Cuisinart, puree the remaining ingredients except for the sesame seeds and scallions to make the dressing.
Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the noodles, and toss gently to coat. Add more dressing if noodles seem dry. Top individual bowls with sesame seeds and scallions if desired.