Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spicy Noodles with Chopped Peanuts

I have been making this dish since it was first published in Bon Appetit Magazine...back in July 2007! On the little over 10-year anniversary, I decided to finally "blog it." I have served this dish hot, cold, and at room temperature, It has served as a side dish, main dish with added grilled chicken, shrimp and/or tofu, or part of a salad bar luncheon. I have added different vegetables depending on what is in season, and what looks good at the farmer's market (blanched sugar snap peas and shredded cabbage and carrots are particularly good.) Trust me, this is a flexible dish and, as long as you don't overcook the noodles, hard to mess up.

Regular readers know that I almost always take a published recipe and then tweak it quite a bit to make it my own. Today's dish is an exception as it is pretty perfect as is. Other than switching up the vegetables sometimes as discussed in the previous paragraph, my only change is that now spicy Asian sesame oil is widely available. So I use 3-4 tablespoons of that instead of the plain oil and hot chili oil. But both options work. I also prefer a thicker noodle so use bucatini pasta instead of the egg noodles or angel hair pasta. And if I cannot find Thai basil (I live in a small town) I use the easier-to-source Italian basil in the winter...otherwise I grow my own.

Spicy Noodles with Chopped Peanuts
(from Bon Appetit, July 2007)

1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon (or more) hot chili oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles or fresh angel hair pasta
12 green onions (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh Thai basil leaves

  1. Heat peanut oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Transfer to large bowl. Add next 6 ingredients; whisk to blend.
  2. If using the Chinese noodles, place them in a colander over the sink. Separate noodles with fingers and shake to remove excess starch. Cook in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, stirring occasionally. (If using pasta noodles, cook according to package directions but remove as soon as al dente. Do not overcook.)  Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain thoroughly and transfer to bowl with sauce. Add sliced green onions and toss to coat noodles. Let stand at room temperature until noodles have absorbed dressing, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour. Stir in peanuts and Thai basil; toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature. 
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  4. PS, I couldn't leave this post without mentioning the devastating fires this past week in Napa and Sonoma Counties. As of today, 41 people have died, and 5500 have lost their homes. I know many of the now homeless, along with numerous friends and loved ones who have evacuated, some cannot come home yet because the air quality is so bad. Wine Country will survive and, as horrible as it is right now, the truth is that the majority of the wineries, shops, and restaurants are perfectly fine. We need to give them a month to get back on their feet and then support them by visiting! If you cannot go to Napa or Sonoma, please buy and drink their wines! They are depending on our business as part of the recovery. Thank you! #napastrong #sonomastrong
  5. best,
  6. diane

    I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.