The directions state, “Let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours before serving.” Yeah, right – like that’s going to happen! You will be hard-pressed to follow those directions after stirring the thick spicy sauce into the noodles. And after sprinkling fresh red peppers, carrots, green onions, cilantro leaves, and fragrant, toasted, sesame seeds over the saucy noodles, you’ll forget you even read the directions! This is a wonderful party dish because it can be made ahead and because it can be made to serve a few people or a crowd. For a fun presentation, serve the noodles in small Asian take-out cartons with a pair of disposable chopsticks tucked into each carton!
Bun Bun Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Recipe by Margaret S. Fox, former owner/chef of Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino
10-oz. dry pasta – spaghetti or angel hair
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup low-salt soy sauce
1 tsp. chile pepper flakes
3 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3 tbsp. corn oil
Garnishes: slivered carrots, green onions, red peppers, toasted sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, fresh cilantro
1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until done, then drain and rinse with cold water until the noodles are cold. Let noodles drain for about 10 minutes.
2. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients until thoroughly blended. (You could heat the mixture very slightly to facilitate whisking, or set the bowl over the steam rising from the cooking pasta for a few minutes.)
3. Toss the noodles with the sauce. Let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours before serving, or refrigerate and serve within 2 days. Always toss noodles before serving to distribute sauce evenly.
4. To serve, place a mound of noodles on plate and garnish with your choice of any or all of the pretty crunchy additions listed above.
1. As the noodles and sauce sit, the flavors of the sauce meld together. Wait to adjust the seasonings until the noodles have sat in the sauce for quite awhile. I was tempted to add more pepper flakes, but was so glad I didn’t!
2. In the recipe Margaret S. Fox suggests using the least adulterated kind of peanut butter available.
3. I found it was not necessary to heat the sauce mixture in order to stir it.
4. If serving this as a main dish, protein in the form of shredded chicken or firm tofu could be added.