I'm invited to neighborhood parties not for my witty conversation but for my peanut noodles. In fact, I started a craze when I served this noodle salad at a street gathering. Everyone demanded the recipe and soon it appeared in different forms at every neighborhood get-together. The spicy peanut dressing is superb on almost any salad. During the summer, I keep extra on hand and always have a package of noodles and some vegetables in my refrigerator for a cool, ready-in-minutes meal.
1/2 pound thin noodles, such as linguine, cooked until just tender,
rinsed under cold water, drained, and tossed with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
5 carrots, peeled and grated
2 English (seedless) cucumbers, peeled,halved lengthwise, seeded,
shredded, and squeezed dry
2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strings (about 1 cup)
2 cups sliced cooked chicken (cut into thin strips)
1-1/2 tablespoons minced scallion greens
Chinese Peanut Dressing (below)
1. Arrange the noodles in a large serving bowl.
2. Arrange the vegetables in concentlic circles over the noodles and then pile the chicken in the center. Sprinkle the scallions on top.
3. Serve at room temperature or chilled, with the Chinese peanut dressing.
My refrigerator would seem empty without a batch of this all-purpose peanut butter-based sauce. I serve it with vegetable and noodle salads, and as a go-with-anything dipping sauce.
One 1/2 inch-thick slice fresh ginger, peeled and sliced in half
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon hot chile paste,or more to taste
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, or more if necessary
1/4 cup soy sauce
3-1/2 tablespoons sugar
3-1/2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
5 tablespoons Chinese Chicken Broth or water, or more if necessary
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or in a blender, finely chop the ginger and garlic. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed and process until smooth. The dressing should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it is too thick, add more water or chicken broth; if too thin, add more peanut butter. Refrigerated, in a covered container, the dressing will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.
Makes about 1-3/4 cups
Deliciously Simple Dishes to Twirl, Slurp, and Savor
by Nina Simonds
Photographs by Christopher Hirsheimer
Hearst Books, an Affiliate of William Morrow & Company, Inc.
1997, Hardcover, US $21.00
Recipes & photos reprinted by permission
This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007
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