Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cold Noodles With Peanut Butter/Sesame Paste

Noodles with peanut butter/sesame paste

This is a very simple and common noodles dish in Shanghai homes, usually made with sesame paste instead of peanut butter. I haven't tried using sesame paste/tahini because I once bought a bottle and it was rancid. I think Korean grocers carry very high quality sesame paste which would be perfect for this dish. I wouldn't use Middle Eastern tahini though, because Oriental sesame paste is smoother, like peanut butter, compared to Middle-Eastern tahini which is coarser and a bit raw.

The first time I ate noodles tossed in peanut butter was when I was in 6th Aunt's place in Hong Kong. I was on the way to the eastern states of the USA and unknowingly pregnant with Ming. The peanut butter noodles tasted awesome (was it the pregnancy?), and each time I returned to Hong Kong, I'd ask 6th Aunt to cook it for me but she'd usually whip up a feast without peanut butter noodles because "those noodles are too ordinary". I finally got her to cook the noodles for me last month when she was here. She was disappointed with my peanut butter (Jiffy). In Hong Kong, you can get salted or sweet peanut butter and for this dish, salted peanut butter is preferred. I too found Jiffy unsuitable for this recipe because although it is good as a bread spread, it didn't make a very smooth sauce. Since I can't get the right peanut butter for this recipe, I'd do with sesame paste next time.

The noodles are usually eaten hot but I prefer them cold, especially in our weather. However, eaten cold, the peanut butter makes the noodles too pasty so maybe they taste smoother if eaten hot. Try it and tell me. You can make it a simple, complete meal by adding cooked shredded chicken and some veg like cucumber strips or bean sprouts. I love my noodles dishes with chili oil and fried Sichuan peppercorns and they truly spike up this dish.

6th Aunt used water and chicken stock powder, but I prefer to just use chicken stock. She also cooked by taste and sight, so you'd have to do that too, adjusting the amount of the ingredients to your taste.

Noodles With Peanut Butter/Sesame Paste
dried wheat noodles
peanut butter or sesame paste
chicken stock, heated
soy sauce
salt & white pepper
black vinegar (optional)
chili oil (optional)
sesame oil (optional)
chicken breast meat. cooked n shredded (optional)
cucumber, julienned or bean sprouts, blanched briefly in boiling water (optional)

1. For about 300g dried noodles, put about 6 T peanut butter/sesame paste into a bowl. Add 2-3 T chicken stock to the sesame paste/peanut butter, stir well to mix. Adding the stock by the spoonfuls gives you control over the consistency of the sauce and also makes it easier to mix evenly. Continue to add the stock by the spoonful, stir well to mix until smooth, repeating until you get a sauce that is the consistency of pouring cream. Add a little salt and white pepper.

2. Make sure noodles are cooked el dente. Drain well and put noodles into a bowl. If you are eating the noodles cold, cook the noodles before you make the sauce.

3. Drizzle some light soy sauce, sesame oil and black vinegar (very little) if using, over the cooked noodles, mixing well.

4. Pour the peanut butter/sesame paste sauce into the noodles, tossing well until all the noodles are coated. If there's not enough sauce, you have to make more.

5. Garnish with the shredded chicken and cuke or bean sprouts. Serve chili oil separately.


Anonymous said...

This is interesting, never eaten it before. Can I use fresh egg noodles or spaghetti?

I enjoy your blog because the recipes are different, the photos are beautiful and your writing is interesting and excellent.Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Knorrs? or Lee Kum Kee?(fat squeeze bottle) sells sesame sauce for noodles in HK. Perhaps you might try buying it there

Anonymous said...

This recipe gives me inspiration to substitute using a bottle of satay sauce which someone gives me n i didn't know what to do with it cos i dont grill satay. I will cook with angel hair pasta n drizzle with "double pagoda" spicy sesame oil. Garnish with hard boiled egg, chk, cucumber, onion. Hehehe, i think this combination might just work :)))

thenomadGourmand said...

wow! PB noodles! cool, I luv PB w almost anything! Thks for the recipe!

Junkgirl said...

It looks a lot like spaghetti.

Denise ^ ChickyEGG said...

The other day i came across with the same title" Peanut Butter Noodle", I was like, eyew, probably ppl running out of ideas, and NOW I see urs, probably I should give a try ( until I m convinced tat U can eat ur noodle with PB, lols!) ;Z

Frequent Reader said...

This is like the Cold Noodles that Taiwanese love so much. Think it's a sze chuanese thing. Because I see it in szechuanese restaurants in Taipei.
Really good to eat with spicy shui jiao or a shui jiao tang/hot and sour soup on a hot summer's day.


terri@adailyobsession said...

anon: yes u can use fresh egg noodles n even spaghetti but it won't be the same as plain wheat noodles. n thank u!

anon: oh, thnx for telling me, i'll look out for tt. am sure tt's what 6th aunt was talking about:)

mp:tt sounds good, provided u like satay sauce with noodles. tell me how the dish went with ur family :)

nomadgourmand: so do u like elvis' fav sandwich, peanut butter n bananas? real yum.

junkgirl: yes it does doesn;t it.

denise: ha, there are manyu ways to use an ingredient. be adventurous.

frequent reader: u r a real gourmet! tt's what we had the noodles with, hot n sour soup. n some fish fingers, recipe coming up.

nyonya pendek melaka said...

Hmm, this is VERY interesting.. noodles with peanut butter. i keep learning new stuff through food blogs like yours every time :D.

Frequent Reader said...

I actually just made this using flat wheat noodles, peanut butter, chicken stock cubes, vinegar and soy sauce. Life saver. There's no eggs, bread or ANYTHING that can be eaten.

Thanks for posting this recipe. So good too. =]

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