Who doesn’t love those peanutty, spicy cold noodles from Chinese take-out? Well, more often than not you're not just getting a quick meal, you're getting tons of calories, fat, and additives that come with processed peanut butter and excessive amounts of peanut oil which are likely added to those "to go" noodles. Don’t let that get you down. I whipped up a delicious and nutritious version that is bolstered with nutrients and protein and will take you less time to make and eat than it would for your local MSG haunt to ring your bell.
One again, I utilized the inspiring 101cookbooks as my foundation for this recipe and, as usual it did not fail me.
Take-Out Style Cold Noodles
- 4 oz of buckwheat soba (1/2 package)
- 1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1/2- inch pieces
- ¼ cup freshly ground peanut butter
- 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Crushed red pepper flakes (I like it spicy so I usually sprinkle a lot)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp-1/4 cup hot water
- 6 oz firm tofu, cubed
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup dry roasted salted peanuts
- ¼ cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup thinly sliced cucumber
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
- Sprinkling of black sesame seeds
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the soba noodles. Follow the cooking instructions. For the last two minutes of cooking, add the asparagus. Drain and arrest the cooking with a rinse of cold water. Set aside.
To make the sauce, mix the peanut butter, rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and salt in a bowl. Slowly mix in the hot water in order to achieve the desired consistency. I like it slightly chunky, but a thinner sauce will incorporate more easily with the noodles. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
Put a little sauce at the bottom of your serving bowl and toss in the noodles and asparagus. Add most of your toppings, saving a little of each for garnish, and add a generous splash of sauce. Toss and add more sauce until the noodles are dressed to your preference. Finish with your garnishes and enjoy!
The power of the peanut!
Peanuts are a good source of plant-based protein and also have beneficial omega-3 and monounsaturated fat that improve heart health. These nutty little morsels also include our good friend fiber to help satiate, lower cholesterol, and improve digestion. Peanuts are also packed with coenzyme Q10, which is essential for a multitude of bodily functions, muscle integrity, and helps lower blood pressure. Vitamin E, folate, iron, and zinc are also found in this little legume, which makes peanuts worth going nutty over. But, with all sources of fat, good or bad, be mindful to not go too nutty for peanuts since the ideal serving of 1 oz (a handful) contains 180 calories. Additionally, be sure to opt for raw or dry roasted nuts instead of oil roasted in order to lower the fat content. Also try to make your own mix of salted and unsalted nuts to help control your sodium intake.
With my clinical rotations well underway, I have really needed to find meals that are effortless, nutritious, and delicious. This protein packed dish hit the spot and satisfied my desire to order take-out - now that’s something to go nutty for!
For additional nutritional info about asparagus click here