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May 5, 2011

Dan Dan Noodles

I'm a big fan of noodle dishes with a spicy peanut sauce, and this one did not disappoint. I got this recipe from the last regular episode of Good Eats to air "Use Your Noodle 5". This recipe is so easy and cheap to make, so I recommend it to all you poor college students! :) 

Tip: When you buy fresh ginger, you never use the whole freaking thing in one recipe. What I do is use what I need, and then freeze it. Just stick it in a plastic bag and throw it in the freezer. I never defrosted it before using it, because you can still peel it and cut it fairly easily even while frozen. That way you're not wasting it and it doesn't mold like it does in the fridge. 

Another tip, I always keep a big jar of roasted peanuts in the pantry. I prefer unsalted, just so they are not affecting the salt content of the dish. I sprinkle them on many asian dishes and they are just handy to have around, because I found myself using them more than I expected.

Here's the recipe adapted from Alton Brown.

Prep Time: 10 min | Cooking Time: 15 min | Difficulty: Easy | Serves: 4

 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
4 Cloves Garlicminced
2 Tbsp Grated Fresh Ginger
2 Tbsp Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Chili Oil
¼ cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
8 ounces Ramen Noodles (4 packets of Top Ramen noodles, just discard the flavor packets)
½ cup Roasted Peanutschopped
3 Scallionsfinely chopped

1. Place the peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and chili oil into the bowl of a mini-food processor. Process until the mixture is well combined and forms a paste, 1 to 2 minutes. With the processor running, gradually add the chicken broth and process until the sauce is creamy and well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, cover, and set aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.

2. Place 4 quarts water into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook until al dente, 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Drain thoroughly in a colander. Add the noodles to the bowl with the sauce and toss to combine. Serve topped with the peanuts and scallions.

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