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A bowl of peanut noodles with cucumbers, scallions and peanuts.

Cold Peanut Noodle Salad with Cucumbers


Description

Dressing recipe adapted from this Chopped Thai Satay Salad recipe. 

Notes:

  • Peanut Butter: I’ve used more natural brands such as Maranatha and Trader Joe’s to Jif and Skippy, and the dressing tastes great regardless. If using a natural brand, be sure to stir it prior to measuring to ensure the oil is emulsified. 
  • Cucumbers: You can use any variety you like. I’ve been using my farm share cucumbers, and after I spiralize them, they’ve been weighing about 8 ounces, which is a nice amount for this amount of noodles. 
  • Peanuts: I’ve been using Trader Joe’s roasted peanuts, 50% less salty. It’s nice not having to toast peanuts, so look for roasted peanuts if you are shopping. 
  • Spiralizer options: I have this old one, which I love for its simplicity, but it’s very expensive. I also have this one, which is more reasonably priced, and which works beautifully. One of you — thanks, Kathleen! — introduced me to this one, which arrived yesterday, and which I have yet to give a go… stay tuned! 

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water plus more as needed
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
  • 2 teaspoons grated or finely minced fresh ginger
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce, such as Sambal Oelek, optional
  • Flaky sea salt such as Maldon

For the Salad:

  • 1 lb. frozen udon noodles or 8 oz. dried noodle of choice
  • 1 to 2 large cucumbers, about 12 to 14 oz pre-sliced, see notes
  • 2 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced to yield a scant cup
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, optional
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut-ginger dressing plus more to taste

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, water, ginger, garlic, and chili-garlic sauce, if using. Season with a pinch of sea salt. Taste. Adjust with more lime or salt to taste. As the dressing sits, it may thicken. If it does, thin with a tablespoon of water until it reaches the right consistency. 
  2. Boil the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the udon or noodles of choice according to package instructions. My frozen udon noodles have been taking roughly 5 minutes to cook through. Drain and rinse under cold water. 
  3. Prep the cucumbers: I’ve been loving using my spiralizer for this one. You could use a mandoline, too, or you could simply slice your cucumbers as thinly as possible. To spiralize, cut off the very ends of each cucumber, then fit the cucumber into the spiralizer and turn until the cucumber has been transformed into thin whisps. I’ve been using about 8 ounces of spiralized cucumbers for this recipe. 
  4. Make the salad: Place the noodles into a large bowl. Pat dry with a towel if still wet. Toss with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Noodles should be nicely sauced. Add the cucumbers, scallions, cilantro, if using, and peanuts. Toss again. Taste. Add more dressing to taste if the salad seems underdressed — I usually add a splash more — or a pinch of sea salt if it tastes underseasoned. Serve immediately or transfer to quart containers and stash in the fridge. Store extra dressing in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian, American

Keywords: cold, peanut, noodles, sesame, ginger, lime, udon