Peanuty, sesame-tinged sauces so nicely compliment a tangled plethora of vegetables and noodles. And the flavors can be be wonderfully varied by by playing around with ingredients and quantities. I think I make it a little differently every time, but it never disappoints!
A few years ago, I shared a recipe for cold & spicy sesame salad, and I recently made a slightly tweaked version of it: Spicy Sesame-Peanut Buckwheat Noodles with Julienne Vegetables and Roasted Tofu (vegan + gluten-free). I made the sauce very similarly, but modified by using rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil and adding in a tablespoon or two of Sambal hot sauce instead of a fresh hot pepper (which I didn’t have on hand). I also made about 1.5x the amount in the original recipe.
For the veggies, I had a ton of julienne vegetables. I often tend to roughly chop or dice, but thought it might work well to mirror the cut of the vegetables to be more similar to the noodles accompanying them, allowing for consistent fork-twirling when consuming. My OXO serrated peeler did the trick for ribboning the zucchini, carrots and cucumbers, and I thinly slivered everything else by hand.
For the noodles, I used 100% buckwheat soba noodles by Eden Foods. Buckwheat has so many great qualities: it tastes wonderful, should be tolerated in people with gluten sensitivities as it is not actually wheat-based (though it’s always best to assess carefully on an individual basis), high in good-quality protein (including all essential amino acids), and high in flavanoids (especially rutin) – among much more. It can be a little finicky to cook though, so make sure you have plenty of water in the pot to prevent the noodles from clumping together.
In total, this fed 3 of us with plenty of leftovers remaining.
Hot or cold, freshly made or as leftovers – this recipe doesn’t disappoint!
Recipe: Spicy Sesame-Peanut Buckwheat Noodles with Julienne Vegetables and Roasted Tofu
Spicy Sesame-Peanut Sauce
What You Need:
- 7.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 3.5 tbsp water
- 5 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- chunk of fresh ginger about the size of a finger tip (peeled)
- 1/2 tbsp honey (NOTE: to truly make this recipe vegan, swap out the honey for agave)
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 pinch turbinado sugar
- 2 tbsp Sambal hot sauce
- 1/4 cup peanuts
What You Do:
- Blend all ingredients (minus the peanuts) in a food processor or blender. Taste, and adjust flavor by adding more of whatever you want. Add in peanuts and pulse to a coarse consistency.
What You Need
- 1 package organic tofu, drained (firm is ideal; if using something softer, press it between several paper towels for a minute or two to extract more moisture)
- A few tbsp of spicy sesame-peanut sauce
What You Do:
- Preheat oven to 400
- Slice tofu into small, thin squares/rectangles
- Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil
- Spread a few teaspoons of sauce over the foil, and place tofu in an even layer on top of it
- Drizzle more sauce over the tofu to lightly coat, spreading with a spoon or your fingers to cover
- Bake until the tofu and sauce begin to brown and dry
- Turn broiler on to high, closely watching to avoid over-scorching, and broil the tofu for another minute or so
- Remove tofu from oven and set aside
Vegetables + Noodles
What You Need
- 2 zucchini
- 2 large carrots
- 1/2 head purple cabbage
- 2 yellow peppers
- 1 large bunch of dino kale
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 bunch scallions
- A few tbsp water
- sesame seeds
- 16 oz buckwheat noodles
What You Do
- Slice the vegetables into very thin strips (try using a serrated peeler to make this easier, still using a knife for the kale, peppers and cabbage); use the middle third of the scallion and thinly slice into rings
- Set the cucumber and scallions aside
- Heat a large pan over medium heat and add a spoonful of the spicy sesame-peanut sauce
- Add vegetables to the pan along with a couple of tablespoons of water to cook until all begins to soften; cover to steam, lifting the lid to stir as needed
- Cook the buckwheat noodles, drain and add to the pan of vegetables; turn the heat off
- Add more sauce to the vegetables and noodles, add in the cucumber, and gently toss to combine
- Top with tofu, scallions, sesame seeds and more sambal hot sauce, and serve + eat + enjoy!