As promised, this week we are diverting from the Italian flavor profile to something completely new — Far Eastern.

For those of you who can’t read a map, that refers to China, Japan, Vietnam, the Koreas, etc. I am hesitant to group these countries into an all-encompassing ‘Asian’ term because Asia contains so many countries that house cuisines which resemble nothing of what I will be preaching about today.

Nevertheless, when I think of Far Eastern cuisine, I think of soy sauce, rice vinegar, chilis, ginger and green onions. These are simply the ingredients that I find easy to work with and readily available in Western grocery stores.

Peanut Noodles

This dish could not be further from authentic Far Eastern cuisine. I adapted it from a slightly simpler recipe I learned while backpacking. The adaptations I’ve made to the base recipe include a slightly more flavorful peanut sauce and the addition of fresh vegetables — you obviously can’t keep fresh cilantro for a week-long backpacking trip.

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Ingredients (1 person, 25 minute prep)

Pasta and Veggies:

  • 2 cups — Penne pasta
  • 1 — Sliced bell pepper
  • 1 handful — Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 handful — Sliced carrots
  • 2 — Sliced green onion stalks
  • 3 tbsp. — Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp. — Canola oil (for sautéing)
  • 2 tsp. — Salt

Peanut Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp. — Peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp. — Soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. — Rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. — Water
  • 1 tbsp. — Sugar
  • 2 tsp. — Sesame oil or Canola oil
  • 2 tsp. — Ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. — Sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp. — Mustard

Directions:

  1. Fill a small pot with more than enough water to cover the uncooked pasta. Add the salt and heat on high until the water is boiling (~ five-seven minutes).
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, preheat a small sauté pan on medium heat (~ two minutes).
  3. Add the canola oil to the pan, then add the carrots and begin to sauté.
  4. At this point, your water should be boiling. Add the pasta to the pot, wait for the water to boil again and then cook on medium-low heat for about seven minutes.
  5. Sauté the carrots for about five minutes, then add the sliced peppers, continuing to sauté.
  6. To make the sauce, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, sugar, sesame oil, ginger paste, Sriracha and mustard. Vigorously mix until smooth.
  7. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain immediately and stir the peanut sauce, sautéed carrots and peppers, cherry tomatoes and green onions into the pan.
  8. Heat for a minute or so, and finally top your dish with the chopped cilantro.

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Voila!

As always, hit me up with questions, comments or concerns,

Chef Sogs

jsogin@wisc.edu