This dish bears more than a passing resemblance to this. In fact, if I were to give this post a subtitle, it would be called, The Pad Thai That Isn’t Even Pad Thai But I Don’t Know What To Call It, Take 2.
But since we revisit this dish ALLLLLL the time, I thought it would be nice to pop in and write about some of the ways we’ve tweaked this dish to make it even more delicious:
Start with the same creamy sauce, with all the peanutty goodness you can handle, but with a fun new twist – cashews. I ran out of peanuts one day and happened to have chili lime cashews on hand, so into the food processor they went and wowza. Mind. Blown. I also started using half almond butter, half peanut butter as the base of the sauce and it hits the spot always.
Next upgrade: be gone rice noodles that stick together and constantly misbehave! Don’t let the door hit you on your way back to the paddy. Now, we use buckwheat soba noodles and they add a heartiness that, frankly, rocks.
In addition to (or sometimes instead of) julienne carrots, add some lightly sautéed julienne bell peppers. I also mandolin slice a zucchini and it gives the whole dish another texture, but can be slurped and twirled just like the noodles. Finish it off with a really healthy handful of cilantro and you have a gorgeous, colorful dish that is reliably tasty, impresses guests, and will make you want to lick the bowl because it’s so good.
And don’t tell Nathan but sometimes, when he’s not looking, I do.
PEANUT SAUCE + SOBA NOODLE STIR FRY
For the peanut Sauce
. 1/2 cup of almond butter OR 1/4 cup each almond butter and peanut butter. Up to you. The almond butter only makes this dish a little sweeter, while the peanut butter adds back in a little balance.
. 1/2 cup of soy sauce
. 4 cloves of garlic
. 1/4 cup of honey
. 1.5 tablespoons of rice vinegar
. 1 tablespoon of red chile powder
. 1/2 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger
. The juice of 1 lime
. Small handful of Trader Joe’s chili lime cashews
. 1 large zucchini
. 2 bell peppers, any color you like (I like orange, red or yellow)
. 8 oz buckwheat soba noodles
. 1/2 lb. protein of your choice
1. In a large, pre-heated cast iron skillet, lightly pan fry your chicken, shrimp, or whatever protein you’ve chosen. Sometimes we make this with chicken for a big dinner, other times we go veg and keep things on the lighter side.
2. As your protein cooks, put the water on to boil; then julienne bell peppers, mandolin slice zucchini, peel garlic. If you have time, start measuring sauce ingredients and putting them into a food processor. The hardest part of this recipe is that sauce assembly takes awhile because of measuring.
3. Put the noodles into the pot; finish up the sauce assembly and press go!
4. Once your protein is cooked, set it aside (or put it into the oven to keep it warm) and place the peppers into the skillet. Cook to the desired doneness (I like them mostly cooked, but with a tiny bit of bite left, so about five minutes of sauté) and then add the zucchini ‘noodles’ for about a minute.
5. Add 1/4 cup sauce, protein, noodles, and stir! Add more peanut sauce on top if you’d like, and a nice handful of cilantro on top.
EAT IT REAL GOOD.