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Monday, September 20, 2004

Sesame-Peanut Noodles

Well, I had a chance to revisit the Cook's Illustrated Sesame Chicken Noodles (previous blog entry here) and I am glad that I did.

It was much better when I more or less followed the recipe, and didn't over-toast the sesame seeds. I did make some tweaks to make it even easier.

Sesame-Peanut Sauce
after Cook's Illustrated, Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken, Sept/Oct 2004

1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted, or 1/4 cup roasted sesame tahini and some sesame seeds to toast
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
2 medium garlic cloves
Thumb-sized joint of fresh ginger (1 tbs grated)
5 tablespoons lower salt soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco or Asian)
Hot water

CI says to toast the seeds, stirring frequently, in a medium pan and reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish. Be careful not to burn them if you do this.

If you have a FP, no need to to grate the garlic and ginger first ... just peel the ginger with a teaspoon, peel the garlic, chop them up rough, and put them in and process till they are nice and mushy. If you have a blender, do grate/smoosh first.

Add the seeds or tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, hot sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Process or blend until smooth. Taste and adjust. On my second run I added 1 tablespoon more peanut butter and more ginger. Thin to heavy cream consistency by adding hot water, 1 tbs at a time, with machine running.

Serve with noodles. Use Asian-style fresh noodles (1 lb) or spaghetti (12 oz). Cook, drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, then toss with 2 tbs sesame oil.

CI includes instructions for broiling chicken breasts (and pulling them apart with forks). I oven-poached tenders and chopped it. CI says 1 shredded carrot and 4 green onions for 12 oz noodles, which is not enough vegetables in my opinion. I used julienned carrots from Trader Joe's (a lot), green onions, and red bell peppers (sliced thin).

Serve by mixing sauce into noodle/chicken/veg mixture, then tossing to combine. Garnish with remaining sesame seeds.

I'm going to do this again with twice the peanut butter, which will be an easier way to approach my old favorite, Spicy Peanut Sauce from Cooking Light. No simmering, no grating ginger sort of thing.

First time that I read this recipe I thought that peanut and sesame weren't match very well but when I tasted I was surprised because it is delicious.
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