These noodles are the perfect blend of “easy,” “yummy” and “involves peanut butter.” Although we’ve made peanut butter noodles once before at Autostraddle, I promise these are different enough to be worth a try as well!
Though you can eat them hot, peanut butter noodles are best made in advance and chilled over night. They get even more delicious and don’t get soggy for days. (The cucumber, however, is another story. If you actually plan to make enough to eat for days, cut up and add the cucumber to each serving as you go, or it will start to get watery and weird.)
If you’re using natural peanut butter, in addition to winning at life you will need to add about 3 tsp. of sugar, honey or agave to keep things palatable. If you’re using regular peanut butter, make the rest of the sauce first and only sweeten if necessary. Do not under any circumstances use the peanut butter that already has the honey mixed in, natural or no. It is a frankensteinian zombie condiment.
If you don’t have chile oil, sprinkle chile flakes over individual portions instead – the bit of spiciness helps make these peanut butter noodles taste more grown up than the ones you may have had in your childhood. If you don’t have (or like) either, follow your heart and cupboard contents.
The other thing that makes these noodles awesome is the tea. Including tea at every possible moment ever is a pretty good life strategy, but in addition to helping break up the peanut butter, using hot tea adds a really subtle flavor note that makes everything even more awesome.
Peanut Butter Noodles
2–3 portions soba noodles
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 tbsp. hot black tea
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. chile oil (or to taste)
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. rise wine vinegar
3 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. minced garlic
1. Boil the water for the noodles.
2. While you wait, finely chop the scallions, cut the cucumber into matchsticks, and brew some strong black tea. Set aside. By now your water should be boiling, so make your noodles.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, tea, soy sauce, chile oil, sesame oil, vinegar, sugar (if using) and minced garlic. With natural peanut butter you might have to stir a little longer until everything combines smoothly.
4. When the noodles are cooked, remove them from heat and rinse them thoroughly under cold water to stop them from cooking. Add them to the bowl with the sauce, and toss until the noodles are coated. Add the cucumber and scallions, and toss. Serve.