You can never keep me away from noodles for too long. Our love is inevitable; no matter how people might try to tear us apart in the insufferable hot weather, I will still love my noodles. Because noodles can be served chilled. If I can’t enjoy a steaming bowl of ramen, then cold noodles are the next best thing.
For a long time, I’ve been intimidated to make these noodles because cooking with peanut butter is frankly a bit scary. I’ve obviously seen them used in savory recipes and I’ve tasted the delicious results in restaurants, but for me, peanut butter is a sweet ingredient to be used in sweet dishes. So I searched high and low for different recipes and suggestions. I finally felt safe with the Epicurious version because it has a lot of ingredients I would personally use and flavors I would want in my noodles. Naturally I tweaked it a tad since I like my sauce on the lighter side.
Another thing – feel free to add as many vegetables to this recipe as you like. The vegetables will make the noodle salad lighter and keep it perfectly balanced for summer. Also feel free to substitute the soba noodles with something else as well, like spaghetti or other gluten free options.
As a bonus, the peanut sauce would make a great dipping sauce for spring rolls or whatever your wild heart desires.
Did I also mention this is a great lunch option?
Peanut Soba Noodles
Adapted from Epicurious
Serves about 4
4 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 scallions, chopped and separate whites from greens
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
3 tablespoons warm water
8 onces soba noodles
1 pepper, chopped
Watercress (for garnish)
Sesame seeds (for garnish)
In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar together and give a rough mix. In a skillet over low heat, warm up canola oil and add scallion whites, minced garlic, minced ginger, and chili flakes. Let them sauté for about 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and scallion whites are tender.
Add the chili oil to the peanut butter mixture and mix. Throw in warm water and whisk until smooth – the sauce should have a runny consistency.
Bring salted water to a boil and add soba noodles to the water. Follow cooking instructions for noodles and drain. Add cooked noodles to the peanut sauce. Throw in chopped peppers and scallion greens as well. Use tongs and start to toss the noodles to coat them with the peanut mixture. You can add other vegetables as well.
These peanut noodles can be served warm or cold. Garnish with sesame seeds and some watercress for a little added texture and hint of sweetness.