Cellophane Noodles with Ginger Peanut Sauce

I’ve been trying to eat healthier things these days, and one of the things that I’ve been trying to cut down on is gluten. I don’t have a gluten allergy or intolerance, and I’m certainly not going to give up bread. However, some people think that we would all feel better physically if we cut down on the gluten a bit anyway, so I’m giving it a shot. I picked up some cellophane noodles (otherwise known as mung bean noodles) at my local Asian market with the idea that they would be healthier for me. After checking out the nutritional information online, I’m not so sure that they are. They have more calories, more carbs, and seemingly less intrinsic value as a nutritional source than regular old wheat noodles. That said, they are gluten-free, so they have that going for them. Oh, and they are also wonderful to eat.

Cellophane noodles are actually pretty tasteless by themselves, but it makes them a fantastic base for all kinds of sauces and flavor combinations. One of my favorite things these days is peanut sauce – the combination of peanuts, soy sauce, ginger and  sriracha is amazing. I am also deep into asparagus these days since it is in season, so I decided to throw them into today’s impromptu lunch at the studio. A note on the recipe below: I generally don’t follow a recipe real closely when making peanut sauce. I usually just dump a bunch of the ingredients into a bowl and mix until I get the flavor where I want it. My recipe is a good guess, but don’t be scared to mess around with it until you find a combination that works for you.

Recipe: Cellophane Noodles with Ginger Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Mung Bean Noodles
  • 1/2 lb fresh asparagus
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tb soy sauce
  • 2 tb cooking mijiu (rice wine) (substitute with rice vinegar)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Put the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for 15 minutes. You can easily complete the rest of the recipe while the noodles soften.
  2. Chop the asparagus into bite sized pieces and then blanche in boiling water for several minutes (longer for older, less fresh asparagus). Strain the asparagus and put them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Separate the spears from the rest of the asparagus.
  3. While waiting for the noodles to soften, combine the ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce, mijui, sesame oil chili oil and sriracha in a small bowl, and stir until smooth.If your sauce is too thick, add a little of the hot noodle water, a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Keep in mind that the noodles will add a little moisture as well.
  4. When the noodles are soft and ready, strain them, and add to a medium sized bowl. Add the sauce and mix until all of the noodles are coated. Fold in the asparagus pieces. Divide the mixture into two bowls, and top with the asparagus spears, and sprinkle with sesame seeds

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

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