Um, hi October. Nice to see ya. When did you decide to show up? Because I definitely thought you were still a couple months away. It feels like we just moved to Tacoma, but the leaves on the ground have been telling us otherwise, for the last couple weeks. It’s been absolutely beautiful here – warm(ish), crisp days, cool clear evenings. We’ve been enjoying time outside and have even had to turn the heat on a couple times, in our cars at least. It’s absolutely wonderful to be in early October and not having to worry about being too warm, but rather being too chilly. A total reverse of our normal situation!
With fall will ultimately come warm, cozy recipes that help get you in the mood for hunkering down and snuggling up. Soooooo before we get to that point, I’m trying to wrap up the last of my lighter, more summer-y recipes! This straightforward peanut sesame noodle recipe is great for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Will chose to cook up a chicken breast to go with his, like the original recipe suggests, while I simply went without. It worked well because the chicken breast was intended to be made separately, which made it easy for us to manage the combo veggie/non-veggie dinner. Any who, read on for this great recipe!
Cooking Notes: Will was kind enough to make this as both a vegetarian recipe and a chicken recipe. We reduced the amount of sesame oil since we only had toasted on hand and increased the rice vinegar and soy sauce. We also chose not to search for black sesame seeds, so we just used plain.
Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles (adapted from The Kitchn; serves 4)
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (optional)
4 tsp canola oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 lb. soba noodles
1 medium English cucumber, seedless
5 scallions, chopped (green and white parts)
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
2 tbsp peanut butter (chunky and natural preferred)
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Season the chicken breast with S&P and set aside. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, then cook the ginger and garlic for about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add 2 more tsp of oil, increasing the heat slightly, then add the chicken. Cook until golden on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Once cooled, cut into strips.
While chicken cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package directions. As noodles cook, peel the cucmber and slice into thin strips, about 4″ long, at whatever thickness you prefer. Once noodles are ton, drain and rinse under cold water until cool, then set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar and red pepper flakes. Add the garlic and ginger, stirring until combined. Pour in a large mixing bowl. Add the noodles, tossing to coat. Pour the noodles into a bowl, then top with chicken strips, scallions, and cucumber, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!