Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Nutty for noodles...

We woke up to the most beautiful snowfall we have seen in some time. It was not the usual dense and heavy mess - it was light as a feather and could be easily disturbed by just breathing in its direction. The best part? No shovel needed for clean up - just use the leaf blower!

With only the time it takes to cook up some pasta, tonight's dinner, Sesame Noodles with Napa Cabbage, is a pretty versatile recipe and I think it would be just as good cold as it was hot. It was a little unusual for us at first because we don't often have cabbage, especially with noodles, and we were not exactly sure what the texture was going to be like. Though, once we took a couple bites, we quickly became members of the clean plate club! As the pasta boils away, creamy natural peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, a dash of sugar and just a few crushed red pepper flakes are heated in a small saucepan to quickly combine them and warm the dressing. Mirin is a sweet rice wine; if you don't have access to this, feel free to substitute the same amount called for with sherry (if you use dry sherry, add a pinch of sugar).

When the pasta is ready, it is drained over the firm shredded napa cabbage to soften it slightly, but still let it retain some bite to it. The nutty dressing has just enough peanut butter flavor so you know exactly what you're eating, but does not overwhelm the savory sesame oil and saltiness of the soy sauce. The vinegar and sweet rice wine do a superb job keeping the balance of sweetness in check while the crushed red pepper gently nudges the back of your throat with an inkling of heat.


  1. Those sound great. I love the peanut butter, soy sauce, etc. combination. It's a great marinade for chicken also. I usually use peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and a touch of brown sugar or honey. My daughter who doesn't like peanut butter is a huge fan of this marinade on her chicken.
    She would LOVE the noodles!

  2. The noodles look great ,but the snow picture is beautiful.I have lived with a snow season all my life and I never heard of anyone using the snow blower to clear it away. Very original

  3. Great recipe :) This is very similar to the popular chinese cold noodle, I usually do this in the summer, perhaps I will have it early this time hehe, thanks for sharing, cheers ! :)

  4. Tammy - That marinade sounds great, I'll have to remember and try it sometime!

    Chris - It worked well at least!

    Melting Wok - I loved the cold leftovers for lunch... very tasty!