Food You Can Eat: Peanut Noodles

Sorry for the extreme closeup - For some reason I took the picture in portrait instead of landscape.

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.



  1. I adore a good peanut sauce, and as luck would have it, have some soba noodles hanging about the cupboard. (Scurries off to add to menus list.)

    • Me too. See, we are twins of a different mother. This also reminds me that I should get a new wok. The old one I used so much that it finally broke from sheer exhaustion, then we moved to the Casa Encatada and I never got around to replacing it. Next week will mark our 13th year here, so it might be about time.

      • how did you live 13 years without a wok?
        not sure i’d last a week before deciding i absolutely need a wok again
        (my current wok probably wont last much longer….its a battlescarred veteran that was round once)

        • Ha. I’ve never owned a wok, though I’ve frequently thought about buying one. I just use my cast iron for stir fries. 

          • but but…with a proper deep wok you can make your food do loop dee loops…..its the most fun you can have in a kitchen with your clothes on

              • Hahaha that looks like a low budget special effects Venom scene.

          • That’s what I do too, and I used to make far more “Asian” food than I do now. I also crossed into the Julia Child mindset: “Two tablespoons of butter? That doesn’t seem like nearly enough…”

            • i tend to have my cooking butter in bricks
              so i just translate table spoons to inches and hack a block off
              and then whatch it melt and think….hmmm… better tell the missus i used sunflower oil if she asked

    • ETA: Much to my disappointment, it looks like the Sinatra Celebrity Cookbook contains no recipes that use a peanut sauce. In fact, the only recipe that even mentions peanuts seems to be Jamie Farr’s Peanut Butter Snack Bars.

      • over here we chips with satay sauce and mayonaise
        its a mix that has no right working as well it does
        cannot decide if whomever came up with it was a genius..or a complete idiot that struck gold

        • You’ve mentioned this before and I have to admit I’d be very curious to try that. I find it hard to determine whether I would like it or not. 

          • welp at around $3 it at least wont break the bank to try it pretty much anywhere in the netherlands
            and over here its pretty common to just buy the one portion to share between yous as you wander about town…sooo..if you hate it you can make it someone elses problem :p
            (but tbh…it really is pretty tasty)

            • Someday when the world has regained some sanity, I’ll visit the Netherlands again and do just that. I’ve only been once, when I was a teenager. My parents took me and my sister on a European vacation, 7 countries in two weeks, so we were only there a few days. 

              • welp if you do feel free to give me a headsup…id be happy to train up to where ever and give the worlds most useless guided tour 
                (i dont know much..but i speak the language and that counts for something)

          • It shouldn’t work, but it does. I’m not even  a huge fan of chips, but I love Vlaamse Frites. My absolute favourite is the curry special, which is curry sauce instead of satay sauce, then mayonnaise and diced onions. I don’t even like mayo, buy I make an exception for these frites. 

            • just a special here (special is curry sauce onions and mayo…well..fritesauce actually….its not legally mayo usually)
              oorlog (war) is satay sauce onions and mayo
              we know also have a patatje stoof….which is chips and stewed beef in gravy….suspect there may have been some canadian inspiration there

      • Jamie Farr’s Peanut Butter Snack Bars.

        I had a terrific laugh over that. So much so that I had to pause and rewind my podcast. 

  2. Love noodles, love peanut sauce. Thank you.

  3. This has nothing to do with my dietary choices or anything but I do have to say that Maple Syrup is superior to honey in every way and in every situation.


    • I love maple flavoring. I know of precisely one place that sells maple extract, and it is pricey. A lot of people, Americans at least, think it is interchangeable with maple syrup, but it is not. And for that matter a lot of American maple syrup–no, I will not go down this road. It would be like replacing a little vanilla extract with a scoop of melted vanilla ice cream.

      • As a teen, I worked at a place that served pancakes for brunch and one of the regulars brought his own glass bottle of maple syrup. I’ve known a few Canadians who refer to American corn-syrup-based brands like Log Cabin and Aunt Jemima Pearl Milling Company as “table syrup”.  Once you’ve had the real thing, table syrup is disgusting and cruel.
        And while it may not be the platonic ideal, McCormick makes a readily available maple extract. 

        • Table syrup is horrifyingly disgusting and should be banned federally in Canada.

          If Justin Trudeau ran his campaign solely on that, he’d get the majority he is hoping for next month. Guaranteed!

          “I am banning table syrup and keeping fighting in hockey.”

          Trudeau – 100%
          O’Toole – 0%
          Singh – 0%

        • Ugh. A lot of us in the northeast US call it table syrup too, or just corn syrup because really that’s mostly all it is. We have good maple syrup from Vermont and Maine, and honestly even NH and MA, though some people will snobbily insist that’s no good.
          I get irritated when I go to a breakfast place and they don’t ask “do you want real syrup” and then serve me the fake stuff. No thank you. 

          • You’re not wrong about Vermont. Like Canada, they came up with their own grading system.

    • Ha! I mostly agree with you, and will almost always use maple syrup over honey, but for some Asian dishes I think the honey flavor fits better. 

  4. I’ve never owned a wok…shameful half-breed asian that I am… Can one use it without a gas burning stove top?

    • I was actually just looking into the same question! We have an old gas stove that we’re thinking of replacing with induction (better for our health and the environment – I’ve recently learned a lot about how gas stoves really aren’t the greatest).

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