I’ve been wanting to learn to cook Asian food for quite some time. I tried once, a few years ago, when I wasn’t nearly as confident in my cooking. I used what I now realize was probably a pretty bad recipe and was still using my college kitchen supplies. I don’t even remember what the dish was supposed to be, but it was awful. It must have left me scarred because I haven’t attempted Asian cooking since then. But I love the flavors and find that even one night of Asian food can break up the monotony of everyday dinners–the flavors are just so different to me. So, armed with better recipes, quality kitchen supplies, and much more skill in the kitchen, I decided to give it another go.Now, I realize this dish isn’t really traditional, authentic Asian. Okay, not at all. But it was absolutely delicious. My co-workers were impressed when I brought the leftovers for lunch the next day. They all thought it came from a restaurant. I guess I didn’t do too poorly this time around!So let’s just call this my first (okay, second…but I’d rather just forget the first) foray into Asian-inspired cooking. I can’t wait to continue this culinary adventure!
Aromatic Noodles with Peanut-Lime Sauceadapted from Ellie Krieger, The Food You Crave
Ingredients:3/4 pound spinach linguine or whole-wheat spaghetti2 cups (about 9 ounces) broccoli florets2 cups (about 6 ounces) snow peas, trimmed2 cups (about 6 ounces) sugar snap peas, trimmed1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce1/4 cup water2 tablespoons rice vinegar2 tablespoons fresh lime juice1 scallion, cut into pieces3/4 inch fresh ginger, finely grated1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes1/2 cup shelled unsalted peanuts
Directions:1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of water according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water.2. While the pasta is cooking put the broccoli in a steamer basket over a large pot of boiling water and steam it for 3 minutes. Add the snow peas and sugar snap peas and steam for 2 minutes more.
3. Toast the peanuts in a dry pan over a medium heat until they become fragrant, about 3 minutes. Set them aside to cool.
4. Make the sauce by pureeing the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, vinegar, lime juice, scallion, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a food processor or blender until smooth.
5. Right before serving, toss the pasta with 3/4 cup of the peanut sauce. Divide into serving bowls and top each serving with the vegetables. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the vegetables. Coarsely chop the peanuts, sprinkle them on top and serve.