August 26, 2009

Cilantro Spicy Noodles

I know this seems like a hellish list of ingredients and steps. It is rather intuitive. Before you do anything, boil water for the pasta, and while that is heating, cut up veggies and prepare the dressing. If roasting peanuts and sesame seeds sounds stupid to you, just omit the step or toss in some canned peanuts. Serve right away or chill for some cold noodles. If you don't have everything here just use what you have around. I'm sure just the noodles and dressing would be good enough.

Serve 6-8
1 pound thin spaghetti, cooked according to package directions and set aside
1 squash, julienned
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 jalapeno, seeded and deveined, and minced
1 T ginger, peeled and minced
1 T canola or vegetable oil

For the dressing:
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 T hot sauce
3 T apple cider vinegar OR 2 T rice wine vinegar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 c reserved cooking liquid

For garnish:
1/2-3/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/4 c roasted peanuts
1 T roasted sesame seeds

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside and reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.
2. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add jalapeno and ginger and cook 2 minutes. Do not let brown.
3. Add in squash through peppers and continue to cook until tender to the bite.
4. Meanwhile combine the dressing ingredients and add in a little bit (1-2 T) of the reserved cooking liquid to help the sugar dissolve. Adjust seasonings if needed. You may need to add a little more of the seasonings depending on your taste. The vinegar was deemed too vinegary so feel free to omit this ingredient.
5. If using raw peanuts and sesame seeds set a small saute pan over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray and slow roast the peanuts (about 8 minutes) until done. Set aside to cool and chop when cool enough to handle.
6. If using sesame seeds, add to pan and roast. These will burn quickly so watch them closely. When golden set aside.
7. Finally, add a little bit (1/4 cup) of the reserved cooking liquid to the drained pasta noodles to help them not stick. Toss slightly until they come apart. Add in vegetables and dressing and toss well. Garnish with cilantro, peanuts and sesame seeds and toss well to combine everything.

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