So I don’t post many “personal” things here, but given that it’s Husband and my 1-year wedding anniversary, I’m feeling rather more sentimental than usual lately. We started dating almost ten years ago, and one of our favorite memories of our early days together was one evening when he was at my apartment, playing a video game (I believe it was Metroid Prime on the GameCube, for those who care to know) while I made us a quick dinner. We joke that it was a sign that we were meant for each other, because I appreciated that he actually stopped playing the game to eat with me, and he appreciated that I supported his video game hobby. It was also the first meal I ever made for him, so even though this dish is really simple, it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Vickie’s Peanut Butter Noodles:
1 portion somen noodles (you can also use spaghetti or linguine, but for that good sticky texture, I would go with somen)
a couple tablespoons creamy peanut butter (I wouldn’t use the all-natural kind that separates and you have to stir to reconstitute; it seems to always throw off the consistency of the sauce)
soy sauce (low sodium is better)
Bull Head Taiwanese BBQ Sauce (I love this stuff, but it does have brill fish in it, so if that grosses you out, you can omit this. substitute a tiny amount of chili-garlic sauce for the kick and the tang.)
rice wine vinegar or mirin cooking wine
Cook somen in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, prepare your sauce in a bowl big enough to hold the noodles plus have room to mix.
Plonk a couple heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter into the bowl. Add the Bull Head or your chili garlic sauce, a tablespoon or so of soy sauce, and whisk until combined. Go easy on the soy sauce, a little goes a long way.
Add a couple splashes of mirin, some sesame oil, and whisk some more. Taste. If it’s too salty, add some more peanut butter. If it’s not quite salty enough, add some more Bull Head or soy sauce.
Whisk in more oil (use your judgement, sesame oil is pretty strong so if you think the sesame taste is good enough, switch to the vegetable oil) and mirin until you get the consistency of like a thick salad dressing.
Toss in your noodles. Mix everything together. Your noodles and the sauce will try to congeal into one massive sticky mess; that’s okay. That’s the way Hubby and I kind of like it. If you prefer a looser mix, add some combination of oil and hot water until it isn’t one giant mass.
If you like, garnish with julienned cucumber, shredded carrot, mung bean sprouts, or all of the above.
This is a pretty heavy dish, between the noodles and the peanut butter, so I find that one portion of somen makes enough for both of us to have a hearty meal. Enjoy!