I love love love peanut noodles, sesame noodles, and basically any noodle with a creamy, nutty, salty sauce, as does my child. He likes to pretend he can use chop sticks (he's actually pretty good, considering) and make a huge mess. It's adorable.
But peanut noodles don't exactly make a "feel good" meal. So I swapped out the soba or lo mein noodles that are the usual base for this dish and used swoodles instead and they're fantastic. A little bit crunchy and just a tiny bit sweet to balance out the salty sauce. Yum. The toddler agrees.
I like to saute the noodles briefly with a little olive oil and a hot pan. Really, you just need a few minutes to take away the rawness of the sweet potatoes. I don't look for any color, just a slight opaqueness. You aren't really cooking the noodles, just making them not raw, if that makes any sense. I'm guessing you could eat them totally raw and it would be fine, I just haven't done it. I also feel like swoodles beat zoodles in a "could this pass for pasta" contest, hands down. And vegetables! If you don't have a spiralizer, you could just use a vegetable peeler to make long, thin noodles.
I've tried many different recipes and have winged it many times in making peanut noodles, but I always come back to Smitten's recipe. It's a little lighter than your typical peanut sauce because Deb swaps in some tahini for peanut butter. I always want to add tahini to this dish, but never seem to get the right balance when adapting other recipes. I add one more Tbsp of peanut butter and use an even 4 Tbsp of soy sauce because I really like peanut butter and salt. I also use half of the sugar because the sweet potato noodles are already sweet, but other than that, I use the recipe as written. I love it.
This base is also perfect with just some crisp cucumbers on top, but you could also add edamame, leftover protein, dried seaweed, toasted sesame seeds, and ANY other raw, steamed, or roasted veggies. You could kind of use this as a base for a noodle bowl. This is also the perfect accompaniment to turkey dumplings.
Sweet potato peanut noodles
1 extra large sweet potato (about 1 lb), peeled and spiralized
1 Tbsp avocado or other neutral oil
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp peanut butter
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
½ Tbsp brown sugar
1-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove
Heat 1 tbsp of avocado or other neutral oil in a pan over medium flame. Add the sweet potato noodles and sauté for 5 minutes until the potatoes are slightly opaque. Flip the noodles and cook for about 5 minutes more. Let cool.
In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients from sesame oil to the garlic and blend until smooth.
Toss the noodles with the sauce and serve. Also, this dish lasted for quite some time in the fridge and maintained its crunch and freshness for at least 1 week.
Yield: about 4 servings