This recipe is taken from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home book. It is really refreshing and is great for sharing. The version below is a twist on the recipe from the book. I will make a few recommendations for substitutions as I go along. Before beginning make sure you have about 20 minutes available for cooking.
INGREDIENTS:8 oz udon noodles or linquini (spaghetti etc. I personally like the amanti whole wheat linguini for this, I also boiled the entire bag)
SAUCE:1/4 Cup of peanut butter (can be substituted for any kind of nut butter for allergy purposes) 1/3 cup rice vinegar 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/3 cup warm water 1/3 cup sesame oil (this is really potent so I would be careful to be exact with this measurement) 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed 1 small fresh chile (I substituted red pepper flakes and tabasco sauce) 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder or ground fennel 1/4 cup fresh basil
VEGGIES:2/3 cup chopped scallions (I recommend the whole bushel) 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced (peeling isn’t necessary unless you don’t like the skin) 2 large carrots, grated fresh spinach or lettuce leaves (for 4-6 people 1 bag of either should be enough) 1 pkg of Tofu (optional, I did not use this in the recipe but substituted with broccoli) EXTRAS (all optional): mushrooms broccoli sesame seeds
Boil a large pot of water. While the water is heating up, mix the sauce together until smooth. If you have a food processor I strongly recommend using it to create a smooth consistency. Set aside.
Cook the noodles in the boiling water until tender but still firm (al dente). Drain the noodles and then douse in cold water. Then drain again. Now you are ready to toss everything together. In a large bowl, toss the noodles with the sauce, scallions, cucumbers, and if using, tofu.
Place the above mixture onto a bead of whatever you green you chose (spinach or lettuce) and serve immediately. Any of the noodle portion not being used should be immediately refrigerated. Top with the grated carrots, mushrooms (optional) and sesame seeds (optional but strongly recommended).
If you don’t like cold tofu, and I don’t, then I strongly recommend substituting with another veggie of your choice.
– Wiki Leeks
P.S. Technically this is considered a main dish salad. Realistically it is considered awesome.