Food confession: I love peanut butter so much that I will sometimes eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon and call that a snack or a mini-meal. Now, I don't particularly care for peanut butter paired with sweet foods, except when combined with chocolate of course; I generally prefer peanut butter with savory foods. When I crave a peanut butter sandwich, I am more likely to add wheat germ and sunflower seeds instead of jam or jelly.
A nice spicy peanut sauce will really make my taste buds happy. Pair it with chicken, or tofu like I did today, toss in some noodles, and we're in business.
- Cooking oil (peanut or canola)
- Red pepper flakes
- 1/2 onion, halved and then sliced into thin strips
- 1/4 cup carrot, cut into matchsticks
- the whites of 2 green onions, chopped
- Minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed and chopped
- 1/4 package of tofu, pressed of water and cut into strips
- Noodles, vermicelli, spaghetti, Chinese noodles, whichever you prefer - today I used a block of ramen noodles
- 1/3 cup peanut sauce, jarred or homemade*
- Sesame oil
- Chopped peanuts
- Green onions, chopped (optional)
- Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Pour some oil into a large skillet, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and let sit.
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain the noodles, put them in a bowl and toss them with 1 T of sesame oil. Let sit and cool.
- Over high heat, sauté the onions, ginger until onions are just starting to brown.
- Add the carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Toss in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the strips of tofu and cook until golden brown.
- Add the peanut sauce to the skillet, stirring to coat well. Taste frequently and adjust seasonings to your liking. Add more of the sauce if you like.
- Toss the drained noodles into the skillet, mixing everything well.
- Garnish with chopped peanuts, green onion and sesame seeds.
*Homemade peanut sauce
- 3 cloves of garlic.
- 1/2 c. peanut butter
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 2 T honey or agave nectar
- 2 T rice vinegar
- 2 T. chili oil
- 1 chopped hot chili
- Put the garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.
- Add water to thin the consistency if you find it necessary.
- Refrigerate any unused sauce in a tightly-lidded container.
- You may use more or less chili pepper to suit your taste for spiciness.
- I might start a series of recipes titled "Things to Do With Ramen Noodles."