January 6th, and I’m still not tired of the comforting simplicity of a bowl of steaming noodles, only now I’m leaning hard on simplicity.
Billed as a Vietnamese kind of pesto, this dish is simply a handful of loosely chopped cilantro and a handful peanuts tossed with any kind of noodles in your cupboard, along with a bit of sesame oil, fish sauce, red pepper flakes and citrus. I say citrus because I only had a lemon in the refrigerator. Along with refusing to cook complicated food, I’m doing my best not to run to the store for a missing ingredient.
My lemon was excellent, but a purist would use lime.
(One of my favorite jokes:
“Honey, we’re having Chinese food again? Three nights in a row? Who does that?!
Cilantro and Peanut Noodles
serves 4 – 6
1 lb. noodles, Asian or Italian
approximately 1 cup loosely chopped cilantro (some reserved for garnish)
1 cup loosely chopped dry-roasted, salted peanuts (some reserved for garnish)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon (or to taste) red pepper flakes
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (or to taste)
Prepare noodles according to directions on package. Drain and return to pan. Toss in all ingredients, and gently warm again. Serve immediately, topped with reserved cilantro and peanuts.