spicy thai sesame noodles
I’m going to try something new and start writing about food. The motivation behind this is that in my circle of friends, we’ve been getting together somewhat frequently (although irregularly) to hang out and make dinner. In a college town like Fort Collins, the tendency to become an alcoholic due to el cheapo $2 microbrews is strong, and so casual dinner get-togethers are an alternative way to have a social life without ruining your liver. Of course, the nice thing is, there are no rules that say you can’t drink, and so if you want to get wasted, you can, but just keep in mind that it’s an activity where drinking is an ancillary point, not primary, and that there aren’t really any societal pressures to imbibe.
That said, I’m not totally sure what I want to write about yet. I’m thinking about a mix of casual dinner “best-practices”, recipes, and wine (yes, I realize I just spent the above paragraph talking about not drinking. shut up.). If any readers out there in internet-land have any suggestions, please let me know.
In any case, last night, we had a sort of welcome home party for Jenny after her extended vacation in Hawaii. I’d heard JTag was making spring rolls with peanut sauce, so I thought that spicy peanut sesame Thai noodles would complement that well.
I used this recipe:
- 1 lb. vermicelli or thin spaghetti
- 3 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
- 4 green onions, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 (1 inch) piece ginger root, pared and quartered (uh, just cut the ginger into small pieces)
- 1/3 c. peanut butter (plain or chunky) (definitely chunky)
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 1/4 c. tap water or chicken broth (I just used water)
- 1 Tbsp. rice or white vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
- 1 Tbsp. salad oil
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (I doubled up this and used 1 tsp)
- 2 Tbsp. sugar (I used brown sugar)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- sesame seeds
- Cook spaghetti as directed; drain and rinse with cold water.
- Toss with 2 tablespoons sesame oil.
- Do not rinse with cold water if you want a hot dish, just drain.
- In food processor, finely chop garlic, green onions and ginger.
- Add remaining sesame oil and all ingredients.
- Process until thoroughly mixed.
- Top each serving of vermicelli or spaghetti with amount of desired sauce.
- sprinkle on sesame seeds to taste
- Can be spicy.
Original recipe found at: http://recipes.epicurean.com/recipedetail.jsp?recipe_no=13492
The italics are my modifications/clarifications to the recipe.
To this, I added some chicken, maybe about 1/2 lb. The preparation of the chicken was simple:
- cut chicken into 1/2 inch pieces (ie, stir fry size)
- fry chicken in pan with sesame oil to taste until it turns white
- add soy paste (not sauce!) to taste and fry for an additional 2-3 minutes for flavor
Then just toss the chicken into the noodles, add the sauce, and you’re done.
The bang for the buck on this recipe is incredible. Maybe a total of half an hour prep time, with very simple ingredients, and it tastes marvelous. You may be tempted to leave the ginger out, as I was. Don’t — it’s the key to the sauce.
Out of a sample size of 5 people, 100% exclaimed that it was “really good” (the ultimate cooking compliment). I’m reminded of that old commercial where the wife is in the kitchen reading Cosmo or somesuch, and when the egg timer dings, she throws some flour and water into her face, and walks out into the dining room with the food and a big sigh, while her family is just like, “YES! This food rocks!”