These are indeed strange and challenging times. Like most everyone in the world, I’ve had to drastically change my lifestyle due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ve been working from home for over a month now. I cancelled an Easter trip to London and Portugal (that I had booked at the end of July last year!), and have pretty much just been staying home except for going out to buy groceries. Even then, I’ve been trying to minimize these outings to once every week or so, because I get paranoid about touching things, and then when I come home, it’s such a hassle to have to sanitize everything!
If there’s one thing that I’m not complaining about though, is having all this time to cook! I have been cooking and baking like there’s no tomorrow (seriously, it’s getting a little out of hand, LOL)! I’ve also had a lot more opportunities to photograph my food, now that I’m not just limited to a few hours of good natural light on Saturdays and Sundays to take photos. I love it that I’m able to prepare my weekday lunches at home AND take pictures of them!! Now I just need to practice some social distancing from all the food!!!🤣
Not only have I had more time to think about new dishes or desserts that I want to make, but I’ve also been revisiting old recipes. Recently, I bought a tub of miso paste, and was thinking of making some kind of noodles with a sesame miso sauce. Then I remembered about the cold peanut noodles that I first made with my sister many years ago. It was so yummy! But what about if I added some miso paste?
I found my old handwritten recipe and followed it exactly for the sauce, except I thought it was a little on the sweet side. Weird, because I don’t remember it being slightly sweet. It was ideal though, for adding miso! The saltiness of the miso balanced out the sweetness perfectly! Oh my, it was so so good!
If you don’t have miso paste, you can just omit it, but if you do so, and you prefer a sauce that’s slightly less sweet, then just reduce the sugar.
I used shirataki noodles because that was what I had (they’re great when you crave noodles but don’t want all the carbs!) and it was incredibly tasty! The more common noodles to use though would be Chinese wheat/egg noodles, or instant ramen noodles. You could even use pasta like spaghetti, if that’s all you have! If you do use shirataki noodles, just make sure after blanching it, you drain it really well (I would recommend you drain the noodles, then transfer to a clean tea towel or cheesecloth, roll it up, and wring the noodles of any excess water).
You can add whatever additions you want. Previously, when I made these noodles, I added julienned cucumber, thinly sliced strips of ham and shredded chicken. If you don’t want any meat, you can make it vegetarian too.
I usually eat these noodles at room temperature, right after preparing it, because I can never wait. But I swear it’s even tastier the next day, when all the flavours have had time to meld. It’s absolutely delicious straight out of the fridge!
If you do make these noodles, leave your comments to let me know how you like them! In the meantime, stay safe and healthy!
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COLD PEANUT SESAME NOODLES (Serves 4)
900g cooked noodles, cooled (about 340g dry spaghetti, if using pasta)
280g cooked chicken, cooled and shredded
80g carrots, julienned
8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) green onions, thinly sliced
7 Tbsp (1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp) soy sauce
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) rice vinegar
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) sesame oil
6 Tbsp (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp) crunchy peanut butter (or substitute with smooth P.B.)
2 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp chilli garlic sauce
1 tsp miso paste (mild sodium)
2 Tbsp ginger, grated
4 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) peanuts, toasted and crushed (optional if using crunchy P.B.)
1. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce. Mix well and set aside.
2. Place cooled noodles in a large bowl, add in shredded chicken, carrots and green onions. Pour the sauce over and thoroughly mix the noodles.
3. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and crushed peanuts (optional).