Cold Noodles with Peanut Sauce

This is NOT a traditional recipe. This is essentially a grown up method of slathering peanut butter on EVERYTHING. The basic sauce is a peanut sesame sauce. But how this concoction came into being was because I was at Pennsic. It was the middle Friday. And more and more people kept arriving at camp and we had to find a way to stretch our fresh food to cover everyone. The easiest way of doing that is to add a carbs and mix other stuff into it with a sauce that brings everything together.

One of our campmates has a habit of bringing and entire bodega’s worth of dry goods. So there was POUNDS of dry pasta, jarred tomato sauce and peanut butter. I tend to bring the basic Chinese condiments and seasonings, because if I don’t bring Chinatown with me the only way to get the “good” brands of Chinese sauces is to go all the way to Pittsburgh. For fresh ingredients we had carrot, apples, scallions, ginger, onions, eggs, and meat.

I told my friend who was planning to make hamburgers and whose eyes kept getting bigger as she counted and recounted the people arriving that we were turning her ground meat into sloppy joes, because we had onions and tomato sauce. AND she had a TON of hamburger buns. Then we took the country ribs she was planning on grilling and marinated them in a char siu sauce and ketchup. We grilled it. Then I took the leftover marinate and threw sliced onions into it and sauted the entire mess. Then SMOTHERED the cut up grilled meat in the onions and stationed another campmate to SERVE the meat with a generous helping of onions. Basically, we stationed a guard over the meat until everyone had at least one serving.

Everyone got at least one sloppy joe and one piece of grilled pork, if they wanted it. And no one was hungry, and it looked like we had a ton of food, and were being fancy with someone serving it! People were even picking at the leftovers throughout the night. Yes… I know how to stretch food… Harry calls my usual cooking style meat flavored vegetables. :D!

Peanut sauce
Ingredients:

  • Peanut butter
    • Chunky or creamy is up to you.
  • Sesame paste (I didn’t have this at Pennsic)
    • Asian sesame paste is different from tahini. It’s made with black sesame seeds (hulls still on). The flavor tends to be a little bitter and a I think a little richer. It also tends to separate. You need to mix everything back together before using. That being said. I have used tahini as a substitute.
  • Minced ginger
  • Minced garlic
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Huy Foods – Chili Garlic sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place equal amounts of peanut butter and sesame paste in a bowl. Then add the ginger and garlic.
    • It helps if the peanut butter and sesame paste are warm.
  2. Drizzle in a little sesame oil.
  3. Whisk together. (At home I use a cake mixer.)
  4. Drizzle more sesame oil until it becomes about the consistency of a pancake batter or a little thinner.
  5. Add soy sauce and chili garlic sauce to taste.

Note that I didn’t not add sugar. I usually buy commercial peanut butter which is already pretty sweet. The chili garlic sauce also has a fair amount of sugar as well. If you make your own peanut butter, you many want to add a little sugar to taste. Please note that in this dish, I’m adding apples and carrots which adds it’s own sweetness. You need to balance the sauce with whatever you’re planning on using it on and your own palate. You can also serve it as dip for veggies.

Cold Noodles:

  • spaghetti
  • julienned carrots
  • julienned granny smith apples (I didn’t peel the apples to keep the color).
  • diced scallions
  • eggs
  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the box. Then run it under cold water. Drain and mix it with sesame oil to keep it from sticking together. Set aside.
  2. Scramble the eggs in a bowl toss in the scallions – I like the way the scallions add color to the eggs.
  3. You can be fancy and make “egg skins” (this is a literal translation of the Chinese, I have no idea what it’s called in English). Or you can just cook the scrambled eggs in a pan like you would for breakfast.
    • “Egg skin”
    • Heat up a non stick pan.
    • Add a tiny bit of oil to the pan. Pour in just enough egg to coat the bottom of the pan (think crepes). Lift up the pan and rotate the until the egg is coated evenly around the pan. It should solidify fairly quickly. Carefully flip the egg. You are aiming for a sheet of cooked egg that is yellow and not browned at all.
    • Repeat until all the egg and scallion is used up.
    • Take your stack of egg skins and julienne.
    • Set aside.
    • And now you know why I just scramble the eggs and mash it up into tiny pieces.
    • It’s really finicky!
  4. There are 2 way of serving.
    • You can do it DIY style, where each ingredient is set out in individual bowls and people help themselves to whatever they want on their “salad.”
    • Or you can throw everything into a bowl and mix everything together. Since we were a little short on ingredients. And I didn’t want to run out of anything, before everyone had had a least one serving. I dumped everything into a bowl and tossed everything together to serve.

Cheap filling and tasty.
I told you it was pretty much an adult version of a peanut butter school lunch, with apple and carrot sticks! The kids loved it! What’s not to love about peanut butter and apples?

Enjoy!

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