Cold Noodles with a Peanut Sauce

1/2 lb fresh thin Chinese egg noodles
2 T sesame oil
1/4 C plus 1 T shelled, salted roasted peanuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 T fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 T peanut oil
1 T thin Chinese soy sauce
2 t Chinese black vinegar
1 t sugar
1/4 t cayenne pepper
2 - 3 scallion bottoms (about 2"), cut into very fine strips

Bring 2 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add the noodles, then let the water come to a boil again. Pour in an additional cup of cold water. After the water comes to a second boil, pour in a second cup of cold water. Let the water come to a boil a third time, then drain the noodles in a collander, refresh them under cold running water, rinse and drain for 5 minutes. Put the noodles in a serving bowl. Add 1 T of the sesame oil and toss.

For the sauce, combine 1/4 C peanuts, 1 T sesame oil, garlic, ginger, peanut oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, cayenne, and 1/4 C water in a food processor. Blend until you have a smooth sauce.

Crush the remaining 1 T peanuts to a coarse crumb texture in a mortar or food processor. When you are ready to eat, pour the sauce over the noodles and toss. Garnish by putting the strips of scallions in a heap on top of the mound of noodles, and top with the peanut crumbs. Serve this way, tossing the noodles at the table, preferably with chopsticks.

Adapted from a fantastic cookbook, World of the East Vegetarian Cooking, by Madhur Jaffrey.

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