Peanut Udon Noodles are one of my favorite lunches, although I really don’t make them as often as I should. You can eat them warm or cold; you can load them up with any veggies you happen to have on hand. (I made this version with snow peas, but I’ve also used red peppers, green onions, zucchini, and cucumbers.) I’ve tried a lot of peanut noodle recipes in my day, but this is the best by far. What else is there to say about peanut noodles? Well, not much, so instead, here are some random tips that will come in handy when you make this recipe. (And you are making this recipe, right?)
Does this happen to you? You buy the fancy natural peanut butter, you open it up, and there’s about a half inch of oil on top. You try to stir it all together and get oil all over your hands and counter and despite your best efforts, the peanut butter is still dry and rock hard by the time you get to the bottom of the jar. Solution: before you open your jars of peanut butter, store them upside down. That way, the oil will float to the bottom. When you’re ready to use it and turn it right side up, it’s much easier to stir without that layer of oil on top.
Ginger is a pain to peel. It’s too small for a regular peeler and using a paring knife is tough without cutting off all the little branches and knobby little protuberances. (Can we nominate “protuberance” as one of the ugliest words in the English language?) Solution: use a spoon. Yes, you can peel ginger with a spoon! Just scrape the skin right off with the edge.
These flavorful Peanut Udon Noodles can be served hot or cold, so they make a great lunch. Add more red pepper flakes or sriracha if you prefer your noodles spicy!
- 8 oz. dried udon noodles
- 4 oz. snow peas, strings removed
- 1/2 c. natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp. brown sugar (optional)
- 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes or sriracha to taste (optional)
- 2-4 tbsp. water
- 1/4 c. chopped roasted peanuts
- Cook udon noodles according to package directions. One minute before cooking time ends, add snow peas to pot. Drain and set aside.
- While noodles are cooking, whisk together peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes or sriracha (if using). Whisk in water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce is smooth but still flavorful. (Different peanut butter brands will produce different consistencies of sauce, so it's hard to be exact about the amount of water needed. The sauce will thin out a little bit once added to the noodles, so don't add too much water or the end result will be bland.)
- Add noodles and snow peas back to pot. Stir in peanut sauce. Serve topped with roasted peanuts and additional sriracha, if desired.