Cold sesame noodles?
On another board, someone posted his grad-school cheapo recipe using ramen noodles and peanut butter (it didn't sound that bad, by the way) and reminded me that I haven't had this in ages, and don't have a good recipe for it. (And don't have any good Chinese restaurant where I now live, either.) I'm long past grad school, and would like to have a really good version.
Anyone have any suggestions?
Are you looking for precise quantities? It's a pleasantly imprecise & flexible dish, I find.
I like to douse cooked egg noodles in tahini diluted with a little lemon juice - just enough to cover noodles evenly without pools of sauce at the bottom.
Toss with julienned ham and cucumber (peeled, seeds removed), and shredded chicken. Julienned carrots, thin strips of omelette and bean sprouts also work.
Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and a few sprigs of coriander.
I use this sauce as a starting point.
1/3-cup sesame paste*
3 T soy sauce
3 T vinegar
2 T sugar
3 T hot water
1 T sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
1 T chili oil
1 t dried chili peppers, broken up
In the jar of a blender, put the garlic and scallions. Blend until minced. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Be aware that the spiciness will increase somewhat.
*Sesame paste is available in Asian grocery stores. It is different from tahini in that the sesame seeds are toasted so that it is darker in color. I get Lan Chi brand.
This sauce recipe will keep for a long time in the refrigerator. If it is too thick when you go to use it again just add a little hot water to thin it.
1 SMALL glop of peanut butter (I know, "what's a glop"? A glop is maybe 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons, but who has time to measure?)
1 Tb balsamic vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder or (better) Indian garlic puree
Dash of soy sauce
Something spicy (squirt of Sriracha, chili oil, chili paste)
Sugar to taste (I like it moderately sweet - heaven help me, Equal works fine)
Cook ramen 4 minutes, rinse w cold water, drain very well - toss in the sauce and sprinkle with thin-sliced scallion and/or fresh bean sprouts
The best version I've ever had was from Best American Side Dishes (I think that's the title) from the folks at America's Test Kitchen / Cook's Illustrated.
IIRC the key is lots of grated carrots and chopped green onions, which balances the heaviness of the peanut butter. Otherwise, yeah - smooth peanut butter, garlic, ginger, chilies, soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar; I don't remember proportions.
See if you can hunt up the ATK version; it's really great.