29 June 2012

Spicy Peanut Sauce ... and a Dish to Go With

the random cookbook and the middle recipe in the book ... what might it be?

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child..."  and I ate as a child. Not to be sacrilegious, but that quote from Corinthians does fit my attitude toward peanut butter. When I was a child, it was all about peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter cups, and peanut butter brownies, Now, though the world of Thai and Indonesian sauces have made their way into my life.

I was so happy to open my 'random cookbook' this month to the center pages and find a recipe for a spicy peanut sauce sitting right next to a noodle recipe that used peas and pasta ... how fortuitous! This might be where I break into that song about 'these are a few of my favorite things' ! No Asian recipe that I've ever seen has bow-tie pasta in it however, and I almost passed them over for a more authentic Chinese noodle. Then, I thought about how much easier getting all that peanut sauce and the peapod strips and the noodles on the fork ... and I caved and followed Sheila Lukins' recipe to the letter. In retrospect, I'd make a few changes, but that's for later. We're doing Dom's Random Recipe here ...

If you're an Asian cuisine purist, sorry. Get over it and embrace your inner child. You must admit, those little bow-ties are pretty cute!

First though, we must return to the the 'middle of the book' recipe. This spicy peanut sauce is made in a blender and it's so easy. It makes a little over a cup, so if you halve the noodle recipe (like I did), you'll have about a half cup left over to use for other purposes. I plan to use mine with fresh green beans and red pepper flakes in a couple days. Do what you will!

Spicy Peanut Sauce


¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce
¼ c. rice wine vinegar
6 tbsp. cold water
1 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. Kosher salt
2 tsp. peeled and minced ginger root
1 tsp. minced garlic
6 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
3 tbsp. peanut oil
3 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
½ tsp. chili oil or chili garlic sauce (the really hot stuff!)

Making the Sauce:

  1. Place the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, water, ginger root, garlic, salt, and sugar in a blender and whiz for a minute or two … to a smooth mixture.
  2. Add the peanut butter and whiz for another minute until the peanut butter is completely incorporated.
  3. Drizzle the oils in while whizzing at the lowest speed. When they are added and the sauce looks smooth and a consistent mix, pour the sauce into a small bowl, scrape out the blender and measure accordingly for the recipe you’re working with.
  4. Store extra sauce in a small closed container for only a few days …

So now ... what did I do with the sauce? I made a simple noodle dish that has bow-tie pasta, blanched and julienned peapods, and toasted sesame seeds all tossed up with half the peanut sauce.

I'll admit ... I skipped the 'toss the noodles in sesame oil and salt'  in the interest of saving calories and our hearts.

    Perfect, crisp, and green peapods


How easy is that? My only additions might be slivered and stirfried purple onion, some chopped peanuts, and a bit of chopped cilantro ... a girl's got to fiddle with things, right?

Sesame Butterfly Noodles for Three


2 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
4 oz. peapods, washed, tipped and julienned length-wise
1 tbsp. peanut oil
6 oz. dry bow-tie noodles (Farfalle)
¾ c. spicy peanut sauce
black pepper

Making the Dish:

  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frypan until golden. Turn tem into a cool bowl and set aside.
  2. Boil the noodles and drain them, tossing with just a bit of sesame oil and Kosher salt. Turn them into a large serving bowl and set aside.
  3. Prepare the pea pods and throw them into a pan of boiling water for 1 minute to blanch.
  4. Drain the peapods and rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Let them drain for a few minutes
  5. Drizzle the spicy peanut sauce over the noodles, strew the peapods over the noodles and sauce.
  6. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over all and sprinkle plenty of coarsely ground black pepper.
  7. Place the bowl in a microwave or a warm oven and let the dish warm for a few minutes or hit the reheat setting on the microwave.
  8. When the dish is warmed, remove and toss all together. Serve with a salad, an Asian vegetable dish or with an easy Asian meat dish.

To see what everyone else has posted to this month's Random Recipe, click the link and check out the rest of the 'middle of the cookbook' posts! Wonder what he'll come up with next month? Want to join in?  Just contact Dom ...


  1. I can only imagine the grand thai masters sitting high on their clouds chuckling heartily at your bowties!... pasta is pasta is pasta and surely you've captured the true essence of the dish here... love peanut sauce, I adore it's flavour as it hits the back of the mouth... thanks so much for taking part this month and thank you for all you lovley kind words on my blog

  2. You're right -- a girl's gotta fiddle! I love peanut sauce, too, but the kind I've made are really simple. I like this one and will definitely try!

  3. This is so enticing. Something different that I've never had and I love trying new things. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I happen to love bow tie pasta in any form. Anyway, this is an awesome dish. I'm thinking this is a nice dish to entertain with too.

  5. This dish looks just delicious. Peanut sauce is so easy to make and adds so much to a recipe.

  6. Oh I love peanut butter and am always on the look out for new sauces...this sounds so easy and full of second class protein...I'll definitely be makng this next week and let you know how I get on.
    Thanks for sharing.


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