This is one of my favorite hard-times recipes. It doesn’t taste like poor-people food. It tastes like something you’d have to pay a lot for at a good restaurant, like the kind with plates instead of troughs. My kids have been eating it for years and it’s probably in their top 10 meals. Which, if you met my kids, you would realize that is not faint praise. They are some of the most persnickety children I’ve ever come across.
Thai Peanut Butter Sauce for Noodles
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 or 2 tablespoons mild vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
The process is pretty easy. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat it over medium heat until it boils. While it heats, stir the peanut butter so it will melt and mix in with the water. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce is smooth and thick. It will need to boil for a couple of minutes to thicken up properly. If it seems too thick then you can thin it with a little more water, maybe 1/4-cup.
I always serve this over spaghetti noodles. I put the water on to boil for the spaghetti first. While the spaghetti is cooking I prepare the peanut butter sauce. After draining the noodles, pour on the peanut butter sauce, and then stir it all up until the spaghetti is evenly coated with the sauce. If you want to be fancy you can add a few snips of green onions on top, or use the green parts from a sprouted onion.
Lots of people add chicken to their peanut butter noodles and I admit, it’s pretty tasty this way. A cup of leftover cooked chicken, or a single chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces and fried in a little oil until it’s no longer pink, will be plenty. Measurements are flexible. Canned chicken is pretty good if you have some you want to use up.
This amount of sauce covers 12-ounces of pasta generously or 16-ounces of pasta more moderately. If you’re including chicken, you may prefer it with 12-ounces of pasta.
Some people add a little toasted sesame oil to their sauce. This is surprisingly mild, considering the quantity of red pepper. If you prefer spicy foods, you can increase the ground red pepper up to 1-full teaspoon. My oldest son prefers it this way, but his father most decidedly does not.
About the vinegar, I have used all different types and my favorite is rice vinegar. When I use a stronger vinegar, like plain white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, I use 1-1/2 tablespoons. When I use rice vinegar, I use 2-tablespoons. It’s a matter of taste. Use the amount that tastes best to you.