This dish is an all-time favorite for most people. It’s similar to a dish we served at Crossroads Cafe, called The Samurai, which quickly became our best seller within days. The peanut sauce is to die for. I’ve been making it consistently for the past two years and it still hasn’t gotten old. And that’s saying something for me, since I almost never make a dish twice and am very much a “been-there-done-that” type of cook.
Don’t be afraid to adapt this recipe–various noodles and vegetables can be used to make this dish seasonal and work for different dietary needs.
Creamy Peanut Noodles
- 1 pack soba noodles OR 1 pack kelp noodles*
- 1 bunch broccoli
- 4 carrots, peeled
- 10 or so stalks asparagus
- a few spring onions
- 1 pound chicken, tofu, or edamame, cooked (to cook chicken, just cut into small pieces and pan fry before doing the veggies)
- peanut sauce (see HERE)
*What in the world are kelp noodles?
Kelp noodles are what they sound like: noodles made out of kelp, a species of seaweed. They look just like regular noodles (see in the below picture). While their texture is quite different from traditional pasta (they have a bit of a crunch/chew to them), their taste is very similar in that it’s very neutral. While I wouldn’t eat them plain (as I wouldn’t eat normal pasta plain either), they are simply delish in this peanut sauce.
Why bother with kelp? Well, like most types of seaweed, kelp is a nutritional powerhouse. Essentially no calories, yet tons of nutrients and minerals. It’s a win-win if you’re looking to watch your weight/calories and/or want to increase your nutrient intake. Rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iodine, kelp is great for your bones, blood, and glands (check out more of the details on that here).
They’re the perfect ingredient to boost a meal and make it satiating without adding a lot of calories. Just make sure you put in a lot of veggies, chicken and peanut sauce to make it filling enough!
Oh, and one last thing. In case you’re wondering where to buy kelp noodles… Some local co-ops and health food stores have it, but you can also buy it on amazon (like everything these days! Don’t get me started). I usually buy this type.
My “Steam-Fry Method”
The whole idea of the steam-fry method is to partially steam, partially fry the vegetables. I find it’s a great way to minimize the amount of oil needed, have the vegetables nicely cooked, and get just a tad bit of browning and “stir-fry” flavor to them. Start with the vegetables that require the most cooking first (e.g. broccoli, asparagus, kale, spinach) and then add ones that require less time (e.g. carrots, zucchini) after.
Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, spray/add about a tablespoon worth of oil to the pan. Add broccoli and asparagus. Cover partially for two-ish minutes. This will speed up the cooking process and quasi-steam them (it’s my favorite cooking process that I’ve made up- the quasi saute/steam method).
Uncover, add carrots, and continue to cook until broccoli and asparagus are bright green, and the carrots are vibrant and slightly bendable. This should be about 4-5ish minutes.
Toward the end, add in spring onions, the chicken, and the noodles. Saute for another couple of minutes, and then take off the heat. Drizzle the peanut sauce over the mixture. Yum.