Peanut Butter Noodles With Cucumbers Recipe


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These peanut butter noodles have “a depth of flavor and dimension that belies what a fast, easy, flexible, and mindless (and therefore brilliant) solution it is when time and energy are low,” writes cookbook author Hetty McKinnon.

You can think of her peanut butter noodles recipe as a formula: “A nutty, full-bodied base thinned out with a mix of something acidic to cut through the richness, something sweet for balance, and something salty for a jolt of umami.” It’s easily adapted to what you have on hand and to accommodate allergies and gluten-free diners. 

Someone in the house opposed to peanut sauce? Use tahini. Out of maple syrup? Using sugar or honey as the sweetener works just fine. For the noodles, almost any Asian variety will work (try instant ramen, udon noodles, rice vermicelli, or soba noodles), but so will spaghetti. (Cook whatever you choose according to the package directions.) The veggies are flexible too. Crunchy cucumbers and green onions are great, but thinly sliced snap peas and carrots, or shredded cabbage would also do the trick.

This dish is just as good served immediately for a weeknight dinner as it is packed up for the next day’s lunch—store the cooked noodles, peanut butter sauce, and the chopped peanut garnish separately. And have ready chili oil or sriracha and sesame oil, plus cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, and lime wedges for squeezing so everyone can customize their bowl whenever they’re ready to eat.

If you’re looking for a peanut butter noodle dish with meat, try Chris Morocco’s version with crispy pork, sautéed collard greens, and rice noodles.

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