Let’s talk fast food, shall we? There are a few meals we make at our house that I classify as “panic meals.” As in, “everybody’s hangry and I need to get food on the table faster than a pizza delivery guy can make it to my house.” Peanut sauce is one of my go-to recipes for those times when I worry I might pass out from hunger while trying to feed my kid. It’s also a really great recipe for young ones, because it combines two kid friendly favorites: pasta and peanut butter! This week I used my handy spiralizer to make a lovely batch of zucchini noodles (zoodles!) and everyone loved it. The zoodles have a great crunch that pairs well with the bright flavors of lime and ginger in the sauce. I recently bought a bottle of ginger juice, so I subbed a TBS of that for the ginger root. It made the prep part even easier!
Normally, we make this dish with spaghetti or linguine noodles. Rice noodles would be an even quicker option, requiring less than 5 minutes to cook. The dish is served lukewarm, so it’s a perfect lunch option or light dinner. It makes great leftovers, but the sauce tends to seize in the fridge. 10-15 seconds in the microwave should bring it up to room temp and make it easier to eat.
Zoodles and Peanut Sauce
Time: 15-20 minutes
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 TBS ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
4 TBS soy sauce
5 TBS rice vinegar
2 TBS honey or maple syrup
1/2 TBS sesame oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup warm water
2 TBS lime juice
Noodles and Garnish
OR rice noodles/spaghetti noodles
reserved toasted sesame seeds
red bell pepper, sliced
crushed red pepper flakes
- If using pasta noodles instead of zoodles, bring a pot of water to boil while you prep the sauce so your pasta can cook during the next few steps.
- Toast the sesame seeds in a skillet over low heat, tossing often, until slightly golden. Reserve roughly 4 TBS seeds for garnish.
- Using a food processor, chop the garlic and ginger. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and sesame oil and pulse to combine. The mixture may seize somewhat, don’t panic.
- Slowly add warm water while pulsing. Add only enough to loosen the mixture - it should lighten somewhat and be roughly the consistency of heavy cream. Add lime juice and blend.
- If serving with zoodles, run the zucchinis through the spiralizer and add to a large mixing bowl. Add peanut sauce to zoodles and and toss to combine.
- If opting for the more traditional noodle, cook according to package directions, drain when al dente, and rinse with cold water. Toss with an additional 1/2 TBS sesame oil (to keep noodles from sticking), then add peanut sauce and toss through.
- Serve in large bowls and garnish with reserved toasted sesame seeds, sliced red pepper, lime wedges, and crushed red pepper flakes for a bit of a kick.