This post has been a long time coming. I have been craving peanut noodles for weeks and weeks. Isn't it weird how these random desires just come along with no rhyme or reason? I've been on an Asian inspired food kick since before the new year…and this goes right along with this. It's the perfect base meal. You can eat them on their own or top this with grilled chicken or shrimp. This recipe is so easily adaptable – add or subtract ingredients as you see it. For those folks that can't find Soba noodles where they live, I think whole wheat spaghetti would be an acceptable alternative. If you're a fan of sesame oil, which I am not, add a teaspoon or so to your dressing if you so choose. I prefer this chilled rather than room temperature but sometimes…when something is super delicious…you can't wait that long.
Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles – serves 4 to 6 side servings
– Bring water to a boil in a large pot and cook soba noodles according to the directions on the package – usually between 6 – 8 minutes. When done, drain immediately and rinse with cool water to stop cooking. Allow to thoroughly drain while putting the rest of the salad together.
– To toast the sesame seeds: Heat a dry, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds and toss around until you start smelling the toasty aroma and the seeds start to become golden brown. You're not looking for dark brown or black – just a gentle toast – which should take 2-3 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
– In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey and Sriracha. Taste at this point and adjust to your liking – more spice, more salt, etc. Gently fold in your soba noodles and give them a quick toss – you don't want to overwork these and have them break or get too gummy.
– To add your veggies, peanuts and sesame seeds: you can either sprinkle them over the noodles or quickly fold them in with a large serving spoon or tongs. I prefer the sprinkle method so they retain their crunch but it's all a matter of personal preference.Serve immediately at room temperature or chill & serve later.
Editor's Note: I like mine a little sour, hence the lime garnish. Feel free to try it…or don't.