While transitioning our wardrobes to beat the heat of summer, Nick and I have also been switching out our hearty, cold-weather meals for fresh, vibrant dishes that are perfect for the season. We often browse our neighborhood farmers market, and look for quick recipes that allow us to toss so much of that local produce into one nutritious meal!
We’re both love the flavorful peanut dipping sauce that comes with Vietnamese spring rolls or chicken satay skewers – it’s the perfect combination of creaminess with sweet and savory. Using just a handful of ingredients, you can recreate a simplified version of the sauce at home in no time. And by thinning it out a bit, it becomes a great sauce on noodles, and can double as a dressing for Asian-inspired salads.
This dish is also easy to adjust based on your diet (i.e. great with zucchini noodles if you want to go light on the carbs). We used Chinese egg noodles here, but any flat pasta like fettuccine should also be good for soaking up the sauce. We’ve also made this with chicken thighs, or ground chicken or turkey. Everything can be prepared in advance, and served later at room temperature!
Quick Asian Peanut Sauce Noodles
Serves approx. 2, with leftovers
– 1/3 cup unsalted peanut butter, either smooth or crunchy
– 1/4 cup hoisin sauce**
– 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
– 2/3 cup hot water
Optional sauce mi-ins:
– Sriracha hot sauce (an absolute MUST for me!)
– Salt light soy sauce, or fish sauce to taste
– Grated ginger
– Minced garlic
– Sesame oil
**If you can’t find hoisin sauce (a dark, thicker, sweet and salty Chinese condiment) at your grocery store, try the same amount of peanut butter mixed with 3 tablespoons light / low-sodium soy sauce, 2.5 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and 6 tablespoons water stirred in a few spoonfulls at a time.
– 8oz or about half a package of noodles
– cooked protein of your choice
– cut-up veggies of your choice
– Chopped scallion and cilantro for garnish
– Roughly-chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
Step 1: Cook the noodles per the package instructions until al dente. Drain then rinse the cooked noodles with cold water so they don’t stick, and can be served at room temperature later on.
Step 2: While waiting for your noodle water to boil, make the sauce. Combine the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, lime juice, and any other optional sauce mix-ins in a small bowl. Add in hot water from the noodle pot gradually, while stirring. You may need more or less than the listed 2/3 cup of hot water based on the type of peanut butter used, so keep an eye on the consistency as you incorporate the water. Add a pinch of salt or dash of light soy sauce to taste, if desired.
Step 3: Lightly sauté the vegetables in olive oil, not so much that they lose their vibrant color. Add in the cooled noodles, cooked protein, and peanut sauce, tossing until everything is evenly coated. Garnish with cilantro, scallions and toasted peanuts when serving.
I hope you guys have a wonderful 4th of July long weekend! Let me know if you make some variation of this sauce & noodle dish at home, and if so, what you do differently!
PS – This embroidered Charter Club dress (also in navy) borrowed from Mom is easy and breezy for hot summer days, but FYI sizing only starts in xsp so it is straighter cut and a roomier fit on someone my size. The ribbed knit material is unlined and stretches to fit. Measurements in XSP: 31.5″ total length, 16″ across armpits, 15″across waist.