All the way back in 1996, I met one of my very best friends, M. We were inseparable (we had our own club, nicknames, and I could fill volumes upon volumes of inside jokes). After school, we would sit at her parent’s kitchen table and devour peanut noodles out of white coffee mugs with her dog Dixie laying at our feet. If I close my eyes, I can still feel the sunlight streaming in from the kitchen window, smell the peanut-y soy sauce-y noodle smell and feel M beside me.
Nowadays, M lives in Hawaii with her husband and her own dogs Hailey and Isabel, and our inseparable-ness has expanded to regular Google Hangouts with the other part of our trifecta, A, who lives in Chicago. However, our love for peanut noodles has only gotten fonder over the years. Last night, I made a batch of the peanut sauce to spice up the leftovers of my spaghetti squash noodles, and it was so drool worthy I still can’t get over how good it was. In its original 1996-form, the peanut sauce was tossed with a pound of linguine and eaten with whatever “crunchy” vegetables were on hand.
1 lb of linguine, cooked and rinsed with cold water. (I substituted my leftover spaghetti squash noodles here)
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (I grated about a 1″ section of peeled fresh ginger directly into the sauce)
5 tsp brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
¼ cup peanut butter*
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1 tsp hot oil (I couldn’t find any, so I substituted 2 – 3 tsp Sriracha sauce)
Your fave crunchy veggies, diced: colored peppers, scallions, snap peas, broccoli, carrots, etc..
*If you are nut free, substitute sunbutter instead. If your nut/seed butter doesn’t have a lot of sugar added, you may need to add a little extra to sweeten the sauce to your taste.
1. Mix all ingredients with a whisk until sauce is smooth and peanut butter-lump free.
2. Toss with noodles (here I used my spaghetti squash noodles).
3. Top with diced veggies of your choosing. I used sugar snap peas, diced scallions, diced red pepper, shredded carrot and broccoli (I steamed the broccoli for 4 minutes first).
4. Top with tofu for a protein boost, I used my diced Best Baked Tofu and it was FANTASTIC, see recipe here.
5. Optional: You can top your noodles with chopped peanuts or sesame seeds if you want – I topped mine with black and white sesame seeds and it added great flavor and crunch! Enjoy 😀
I gushed about this dish to my friend D after I made it last night, so much so that she was cracking up at my marked enthusiasm over peanut sauce, spaghetti squash, veggies and tofu. I could not stop the, “But DUDE, this is SO GOOD!”‘ from proliferating. Seriously though, this is AMAZING. You can use the peanut sauce to top regular pasta, as I did in the original 1996 form, or use it with gluten-free pasta (there’s some really tasty GF quinoa pasta out there!), use it as a marinade for tofu or tempeh, toss it with veggies to make a salad (warm or cold). It is a phenomenal sauce; in D’s own words: “WOW! This is bold!” when I peer-pressured her to dip her finger in to have a taste. She’s my pseudo-Paleo friend and is planning on using the peanut sauce to top off beef and rice (I won’t hold it against her). Feel free to play around with the ratios to make it more to your own personal taste – more or less sugar depending on what sweetness you’re into, peanut butter to thicken it, whatever you wanna do. Also, as I mentioned before, if you’re topping noodles with this peanut sauce, then definitely try a twist of a lime wedge on top – it really amps the flavor.
I still can’t get over how good this tasted, and I hope you get even a sliver of the amount of enjoyment I did out of it. Mmmm!
Happy Hump Day!
PS: Fact: The only person you can convince to wear matching human disco ball outfits and be a total weirdo with is your BFF since elementary school. M, I still want those sequin pants to wear in real life 😉 😛