While the pasta and the peanut butter are more common, every-household items (most likely) the Asian ingredients may be a bit more uncommon, but the beauty of buying them once is that you can get multiple meals out of that initial investment. In fact, if you cooked my Hoisin Salmon meal I shared back in February, you just might have a few of these ingredients on hand already! How cool is that?!
My other favorite thing about this recipe, aside from it's speed and ingredients, is it's flexibility. You can switch up the toppings based on what you already have or what you are willing to stop at the grocery store for. I include a bunch of suggestions in the ingredient list, but ultimately the choice is yours. While I prefer this dish vegetarian for a perfect Meatless Monday treat, if you want to top it off with shredded chicken or seared shrimp, by all means, have your way with it! And if you are cooking for a family, make the toppings a "build-your-own" option for customization that will make every diner happy.
PREP ~ 0; COOK ~ 20-25 minutes
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons go chu jang*
8 oz spaghetti or fettucini noodles*
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
*see prep notes
Optional Veggie toppings:
Mung bean sprouts
Shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin and quickly sauteed in butter or oil
Green onions, sliced thin
Purple cabbage, sliced thin
Broccoli, small florets boiled or raw
Fresh cilantro leaves
Optional Protein toppings:
Marinated tofu, diced small
Roasted chicken, diced or shredded
Seared flank steak, sliced thin
Shrimp, seared or roasted
- You can use any long noodle you like, including the rice, soba or ramen noodles you will find in the international section of the grocery store.
- Go chu jang is a Korean chili sauce. Brands differ in flavor and texture (as do all chili sauces) but your store most likely sells at least one variety nowadays. Start with a little less than the recipe calls for to ensure it's not too spicy for your taste, or add more if you prefer a lot of heat. You can also sub sriracha if you prefer.
Fill a large saucepan 2/3 high with hot water and set over high heat. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, season water with salt and add pasta noodles. Cook until al dente, according to the time on the package instructions. If you are using an Asian noodle, follow package instructions as those are treated differently than the Italian variety.
As the water comes to a boil, stir together the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and go chu jang in a large mixing bowl. I like to use a large bowl so I can toss the cooked noodles and sauce together right in this bowl at the end.
Also, as the pasta boils, chop or cook any of the topping ingredients you are using that require prep work.
Once there gets to be just about 2 more minutes left on the noodles, scoop out 3 tablespoons of cooking water into the bowl of peanut butter sauce. Stir to combine. Strain the noodles, add to the bowl of sauce and toss to combine well.
Portion the noodles into serving dishes and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Finish with your desired toppings, or let everyone add their own. Serve warm and enjoy!