If you didn’t know that this dish was a delicious and thrifty rift on an well-loved Shanghainese noodle dish, you might mistake it for something out of some Sandra Lee Goes to “Asia” cookbook.
That’s a really big IF.
IF you didn’t know that Chris’ mom invented this dish as a teenager in a small New York City kitchen, who had recently immigrated to the US and was tasked with cooking dinner each night for her large family.
IF you didn’t know that this dish saw Chris’ family through life in Bangladesh, the Philippines, India AND the US throughout the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
and IF you didn’t know that the most delicious way to eat Jiffy peanut butter is on top of some cold noodles with tiny strips of fresh cucumber and cooked egg.
Seriously. It. Is.
I had been coping with a serious peanut-butter craving for several days when, inspired by the beautiful weather, Chris suggested we make this long-time favorite dish of the summertime. My husband is a smart man.
If the combination of peanut butter and pasta makes you a little uneasy, just remember:
pasta = grain = bread
bread + peanut butter = delicious
Ergo, pasta + peanut butter = delicious
The beauty of this dish is that it’s super cheap, easy, and satisfying. May I also say that it is somehow hearty and refreshing all at the same time, which is exactly what I’m looking for in an al fresco sort of meal.
Peanut Butter Noodles (for 2)
2 servings of spaghetti or linguine or whatever you have in your kitchen cabinet (I suppose Asian noodles would be good too but since Chris’ mom used to make it for Chris with whatever pasta she could get at the commissary, we’ve stuck with tradition)
2-4 generous Tablespoons Peanut Butter (smooth or chunky, whatever you fancy)
2-4 generous Tablespoons Sesame Oil
2-4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon hot chili oil or hot pepper flakes (optional)
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 or 2 cooked eggs, scrambled and lightly cooked then chopped into matchsticks
Whatever Else You Want to Put In (soybean sprouts, diced chicken, dofu, even some Thai Basil are all really great in there etc)
1. Cook pasta to either side of al dente (whichever side you prefer) then rinse in cold water until the pasta is cool and no longer sticks together. Set pasta aside (To save water, you can also rinse the pasta and stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes)
2. Combine sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, and chili oil in a large-ish bowl and mix well. Give it a taste and if its too salty or thick, add some water or chicken broth
3. Add your chilled noodles to the sauce and toss to combine.
4. Top with cucumber, cooked egg, whatever else you like.
5. Bring food, chopsticks, and plenty of napkins out to an outdoor space
6. Devour your peanut butter noodles in good company (I think a cool beer would go nicely here)