Recipe: Sichuan Noodles
½ pound linguine, or soba or udon noodles
1 cucumber seeded, peeled, seeded and sliced into thin crescents
½ cup finely chopped scallions
Mung bean sprouts (optional)
For the peanut dressing:
1 / 3 cup peanut butter
1 / 3 cup warm water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons vinegar (rice, cider or white)
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon Chinese chili paste with garlic (see note)
1. To cook the linguine, bring a large covered pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the cucumber and scallions. In a small bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients.
2. When the water boils, cook the noodles until al dente. (If you think it’s easier to eat, break linguine in half before cooking it.) Drain the pasta and toss it with the dressing, cucumbers and scallions. Garnish with mung bean sprouts, if you wish. Serve warm or chilled.
3. The noodles absorb the dressing over time, so if you made the noodles ahead, or are serving leftovers, taste them and stir in a little water, and maybe more vinegar, soy sauce and chili paste as needed.
Note: Chinese chili paste with garlic can be purchased at Asian markets. It is also stocked in the Asian ingredients aisle at larger grocery stores.
Adapted by Tampa Bay Tribune from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites (St. Martin’s Press, 2013)