This is a versatile recipe that you can take in different directions. The key is a really simple but totally delicious peanut sauce. I usually put it on noodles, but it’s great with rice, stir fries, tofu, by the spoonful…
- ¾ cup peanut butter*
- ½ – ¾ cup warm water
- ¼ cup honey (or maple syrup to make it vegan)
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 lime, juiced (2 tbsp)
- 1 clove garlic, minced fine
- 1 tsp ginger, minced fine (or ginger paste)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (result is mild to medium, but will depend on the strength of your pepper flakes)
- chopped scallions and/or crushed peanuts as garnish
- 12 oz noodles of your choice (udon, rice, honestly just normal spaghetti works great and is often what I use)
- Some veggies if you like (I often do broccoli, bok choy, or peas)
*If you know me by now, you know I’m a peanuts-are-the-only-ingredient natural peanut butter kind of person. If you’re using a sweet or salty kind, you may need to adjust the honey and soy sauce accordingly. You can use smooth or chunky, but if you use smooth, I recommend also adding some crushed peanuts at the end as garnish.
Whisk all the sauce ingredients (through red pepper flakes) together in a bowl. Start with ½ cup warm water (you want warm to make the peanut butter easier to mix), and then decide if the consistency is too thick and it needs some more. I don’t know about you, but when I’m supposed to measure peanut butter, I typically eyeball it, so the water amount ends up variable to match.
At this point I taste the peanut sauce and will sometimes throw in a little more of something or other. But do keep in mind that the spice level will adjust with time because you’re adding dried flakes that won’t impart their full flavor right away.
Cook your noodles per package directions, and if you want to add veggies in the laziest of ways (and I generally do), I like to either (1) toss them in to boil with the noodles or (2) roast them separately and then just toss noodles, veggies, and sauce all together. A better way (but one that creates more dishes) is to stir fry your veggies, then toss the peanut sauce into the stir fry in the last minute or so of cooking, and then toss your cooked noodles in with the rest.