Peanut Noodles

My all-time favorite, easy-to-make meal. We compiled off of various internet recipes at some point last summer, although unfortunately, I don't really remember which ones. I think we used this one (starter peanut noodle recipe) as a starter and then worked off of it.

It is a rather inexact recipe. It's also pretty quick. If you time it right, you can get everything done while the noodles are boiling. Over the summer, we would usually make it with stir-fried broccoli and carrots (well, stir fried is what we call them when I stick them on a pan on the stove and sometimes add olive oil, sometimes add water, and heat them up until they are just cooked--sometimes I get frustrated and would put the top on our pot-pan so they would cook faster). I like my broccoli very barely cooked--just enough that it turns into a pretty green from the gray-ish version of green it was before. We also liked our carrots crunchy and just barely cooked.

It also makes a lot. Admittedly, my roommate and I were always making it just for the two of us, so we didn't eat a lot. But we never scaled down the size because it made lunch for the next week awesome.

Peanut Noodles

1) Cook the noodles. I usually used spaghetti, because we didn't have a car and that was all that was at the grocery store within biking distance. And because spaghetti is very versatile. I like them to be slightly al dente for this recipe. The original recipe says 10 oz, which I will admit, I have absolutely no idea what it is. We usually used about 1/3 of a spaghetti box, but it really varied depending on the amount we had and the amount of vegetables we had. (Drain the noodles when they are done).

2) Cut up your vegetables and stir-fry them or cook them however suits your fancy. Again, the original one says 3 cups steamed vegetables. We never really measured, but just cut up a couple of carrots and a couple of heads of broccoli. If you have 2 people cooking, which we did all summer, you can have one person be in charge of the vegetables while the other person gets the sauce.

3) If you want any protein in the meal, you should probably also get it ready about here. A lot of the time, we would throw a chicken breast into our peanut noodles. A couple times we threw in shrimp because we needed to use up the bag. I've also added a scrambled egg or two before. This is also quite good and filling without added sources of protein, probably helped by the peanut butter.

4) Make the peanut sauce. I would add peanut butter to soy sauce in a 2:1 ratio, add a couple of spoons of brown sugar, some delicious fresh garlic and ginger and a dash or so of rice vinegar. If you are pickier about proportions, the original recipe says (1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 Tb brown sugar, 2 garlic cloves, 2 Tb ginger, 1 Tb rice vinegar). You mix it all together, which is a bit frustrating because of the peanut butter. And then you add 1/2 cup boiling water (or just the same amount as you added peanut butter). It likes to separate and get ugly here, but eventually it stirs back together. I usually used a fork since our whisk was large and didn't really fit in this bowl. It worked better than a spoon.

5) Throw all the ingredients in a pan or a pot or a bowl and mix together.

6) Add crushed red pepper to your liking.

Enjoy the deliciousness.

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