Know what I hate? (Besides rainy days and Mondays, they always get me down.) Sticky noodles!!!!
Have you ever had this problem? (By noodle I am talking about pasta/macaroni not some other kind of weird noodle you may have in mind.)
The ol’ hubster (and his noodle) were gone somewhere last weekend and I was just craving a big bowl of peanut noodles. I got all my ingredients together and used my noodle to make a simple peanut sauce on the stove. (Recipe below.)
I cooked up a package of fresh lo mein (egg) noodles and dumped them in the colander to drain. I was just about ready to mix it all together when I heard a Meow at the door. It was the neighborhood stray cat, Mr. Fluffy, who wanted a meal. (His noodle is fine but his owner needs to do something about his meatballs!)
I fed Mr. Fluffy and came back to my noodles and they were a big gluey mess! It was a clump of gelatinous muck!!! I was mortified. By not rinsing these noodles, I just turned an already dense noodle into a heavy, sticky hunk of goo!
So luckily I had another pack in the fridge and I gave it another go. (And ignored the cat continuing to meow at my front door.)
I cooked the pasta in a pan large pan of boiling, salted water and drained into my colander. Without hesitation, I rinsed it under cold water and used my fingers (I washed my hands after petting the cat) to separate the noodles and make sure the pasta was cooled off.
The key here is to drain it again really well by flipping it around the colander. You want it almost to feel dry. Next, give it a drizzle of sesame oil (I’m cooking an Asian peanut sauce so this was a good choice for complimenting the flavor.) If it isn’t dry enough, the oil is just going to slide off.
I put the noodles in a BIG bowl and slowly started to mix in my peanut sauce. The sauce stuck to the noodles but didn’t get clumpy. It was all loose (kind of like the kitties that hang around Mr. Fluffy) and just what I want in a bowl of noodles.
The key here was to do it all quickly and have all your ducks (cats) in a row before you get started. I think my problem (one of many) is that when I make an Italian dish the pasta goes from colander to sauce and there is no rinsing required.
But a cold Asian noodle dish is a different beast. I think the next time before I get a craving, I am going to use my noodle before cooking my noodle and look up the best method!
Sunday Afternoon Peanut Noodles
(Serves 2 if you are willing to share with the cat)
1 9-ounce package Chinese egg noodles (cook per package instructions)
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup ponzu sauce
2 tsp Sriracha
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup shredded cooked chicken (use some leftover chicken)
1/4 cup red pepper diced
1 green onion, sliced
1/8 cup celery leaf (celery goes great with PB!)
Slice of lime
- Cook noodles per instructions and my hints.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together peanut butter, ponzu sauce, Sriracha and garlic. Heat over low until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Mix in red pepper, chicken and green onion.
- Stir in your non-clumpy noodles.
- Sprinkle with celery leaf and give it a squirt of lime.
I like when I screw up in the kitchen because I always learn something. Today’s lesson is to feed the stray cat before I start cooking!