I imagine Peanut Sauce as the Asian comfort food; readily available, quick and delicious (like an olive oil, garlic and parmesan pasta). I learned how to make this Peanut Sauce at the Red Bridge Restaurant and Cooking School in Hoi An, Vietnam. This sauce, which is made from staple condiments that are always in stock, has saved my near-empty refrigerator on more than one occasion.

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Kale-Shitake Asian Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • Noodles and Vegetables:
  • Shitake mushrooms - 1.5 cups dried shitake mushrooms
  • Asian noodles - 4 portions
  • Kale or Other greens - 1 large bunch of kale or other greens
  • Green beans - 1 handful green beans, cut into 1-inch long pieces
  • Egg (optional) - 1 hard boiled egg per person
  • Noodles and Vegetables:
  • Shitake mushrooms - 1.5 cups dried shitake mushrooms
  • Asian noodles - 4 portions
  • Kale or Other greens - 1 large bunch of kale or other greens
  • Green beans - 1 handful green beans, cut into 1-inch long pieces
  • Egg (optional) - 1 hard boiled egg per person

Instructions

  1. Noodles and Vegetables:
  2. Reconstitute the dried shitake mushrooms. Submerge the shitake mushrooms in warm water and weigh down with a plate. You can soak the mushrooms overnight or for at least 30 minutes. If you don't have enough time to soak them, simmer the mushrooms in water for 10-15 minutes. Once soaked, remove the mushrooms from the water, but save the water! It's an excellent addition to soups and stews. Cut away the mushroom stems, which are tough and fibrous, and coarsely chop extra large mushrooms. Set aside.
  3. Strip the kale leaves from the stem and coarsely chop them into long strips. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and place it next to the stovetop.
  4. Blanch the vegetables: Put the kale and green beans in the boiling water and cook for about 30 seconds or until the vegetables are bright green. With a slotted spoon or tongs, scoop out the vegetables and transfer them to the ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain the vegetables in a colander and allow them to dry in a salad spinner or spread out on a tea towel.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Depending on your choice of noodles, they will require different cooking times. When the noodles are cooked, drain and keep them warm in a pot. Add a touch of vegetable oil or butter to keep them from sticking.
  6. Peanut Sauce:
  7. Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan and mix over medium heat until melted and blended.
  8. Store extra sauce in a jar or container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Also great for dipping vegetables or lathering on rice cakes.
  9. Assembly:
  10. Place a portion of noodles on a plate or shallow bowl. Top with kale, green beans and shitake mushrooms. Spoon a generous helping of peanut sauce on top.
  11. Optional: top with slices of hard boiled egg.

Notes

Allergens: eggs, peanuts

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