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Make-Ahead Peanut Soba Noodles with Tofu and Pickled Bean Sprouts

[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

I could slurp peanut noodles for days. But as something of a seasoned peanut noodle slurper, I wanted my version to be spot on, and up to snuff. The sauce is a balance of salty, sharp, sweet and rich, and just hovering between liquid and paste for the perfect amount of "noodle cling".

I love the taste of peanut noodles the next day when they've had time to really let the flavors meld. I threw in some easy pickled bean sprouts for kick (and crunch) and some simply seared tofu to make this a well-rounded lunch box. Just try not to slurp too loudly.

The sauce will taste a little heavy on the soy and saltiness when you first taste it, but as it sits overnight the peanut flavor will become more prominent, and the sauce will balance itself out. The pickling brine for the bean sprouts is pretty generic, so feel free to try it out on a different vegetable to toss in here--carrots, cucumbers or snow peas would all add equal color, crunch and flavor.

About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a recipe editor for Cooking Channel. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Find her on twitter @the_suzchef

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