Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Udon Noodles with Cashew Sauce

I'm sure you could replace the cashews with peanuts
(but you didn't hear that from me)

I had a big time craving the other day for noodles with peanut sauce. But because of my daughter's peanut allergy, I set out to satisfy that yearning with something similar instead. Sometimes that works and sometimes nothing else can really replace that exact flavor you're lusting after.  Luckily for me, this totally hit the spot.

Maddie liked it too, but had hers without the scallions (luckily I had the foresight to set some aside before I added them). You should have seen it, it was classic. She tried one tinsy little piece of scallion and made a giant production out of how nasty it was, complete with coughing (hands around the throat), gaging and dramatically spitting it out into the garbage. Eye roll.

Yield: 4-5 servings

1/3 cup sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
2 cups unsalted roasted cashews, plus a few tablespoons finely chopped for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14 oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
1 lb. udon* noodles or linguine, cooked until al dente

*available in the Asian section of most supermarkets

1.      Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute.  Add the honey, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar and stir for about 30 seconds more.  Set aside (don’t clean the pan just yet).
2.      Place the cashews and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times (until cashews are very finely chopped, but haven’t turned to cashew butter). Add the warm ginger/garlic mixture; process until smooth, about 1 minute (now it will look more like nut butter).  Add the coconut milk and mix until smooth (another 30 seconds).
3.      Return the cashew/coconut mixture to the saucepan over medium heat.  Heat until sauce is warmed through.  Stir in scallions.
4.      Toss sauce with cooked noodles. Serve sprinkled with chopped scallions and chopped cashews.
cashew blob before the coconut milk is added
I really need some new plates, all these photos are starting to look the same to me

I order my cashews from tierrafarm.com (all their nuts and seeds are processed in a peanut-free facility).


Anonymous said...

I LOVE sesame noodles! I've never made them for myself at home. You've made it look so easy, thank you! Now I can try it for myself.

Susan said...

You can add sesame too if you want (tahini or roasted sesame seeds). I thought about doing that.

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