Quick and Easy Dinner: Peanutty Sesame Noodles

This is one of our favorite quick, go-to meals around our house. I never thought I would like peanut butter in a savory meal but turns out I love it.

The addition of soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and hot sauce tones down the peanut butter taste and rounds out the sauce nicely.

I have adapted this recipe that I found at food.com to suit our taste. To make it more of a meal, we serve it warm with grilled chicken. This is also great eaten straight from the fridge.

The original recipe calls for 1 pound of noodles but I use less because we like ours saucy. If you want your pasta a little drier, make a whole pound and add as much as desired.

Peanutty Sesame Noodles

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
Fresh ginger, grated or minced (about 1/2 Tbsp, I use the minced ginger that comes in a jar)
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce (I sometimes add a bit more for a kick)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
hot water (to thin to desired consistency – I usually add about a teaspoon)
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled
12 oz. fresh Chinese noodles or 12 oz. spaghetti
2 tablespoons sesame oil
4 scallions or 4 green onions, sliced thin on diagonal
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated on large holes of box grater (about 2/3 cup) (optional)
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Grill the chicken as you boil the noodles.
2. If you are unable to find toasted sesame seeds, toast the sesame seeds in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrants. Reserve 1 tablespoon sesame seeds in a small bowl.
3. In a blender or small food processor, puree the remaining 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, and sugar until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the machine running, add hot water a bit at a time until the sauce has the consistency of heavy cream, about 5 tablespoons; set the mixture aside. If you wish, add the crushed red pepper for a little zing.
4. Slice chicken into bite-size pieces.
5. In a large bowl, toss the noodles with the sesame oil until evenly coated. Add the chicken, scallions, carrot, and sauce; toss to combine. Divide among individual bowls, sprinkle each bowl with a portion of reserved sesame seeds.

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