Udon is a frequent meal when I’ve been working late. Not only is it very quick and easy, but in a lot of incarnations it is served at room temperature, which means I can run around feeding the cats and taking care of other chores while I’m making dinner, without worrying too much about timing. By the time I sit down to dinner, I like to be done with everything I have to do for the day and simply relax. This meal was very much improvised, so the measurements given are even more “suggestions only” than usual.
Easy Udon in a Ginger-Peanut Sauce
Those little round things are dried chickpeas but you are to pretend they are peanuts, okay? I’d already ground all the peanuts I had in the house when I decided to take this photo, so they are stand-ins.
2 bundles of udon (2 servings)
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 tsp chili garlic paste
1 2″ knob of fresh ginger, grated
1 small clove garlic minced or pressed, or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
water to thin as necessary
1/2 half cucumber, julienned
black or white sesame seeds or lightly crushed peanuts
red chili flakes
crispy fried onions
Prepare the udon as directed on the package. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Place the remaining ingredients (other than the garnish suggestions) into a food processor and process until smooth.
The garnishes are all optional, but if you have a cucumber, cut it in half, then cut one of the halves lengthwise.
Scoop out the seeds with a small spoon.
Cut the halves lengthwise again.
Chop into sticks.
Cut the sticks in half.
Mix some of the sauce with the noodles. You will probably have more sauce than you need; you just want a nice coating on the noodles.
Toss with the sesame seeds or crushed peanuts if using.
Top with cucumbers, extra ginger, and/or chili pepper flakes if using.
I remembered I had leftover fried onions from Thanksgiving and decided they’d be an interesting garnish as well.
Total time from beginning to boil the water to sitting down with a glass of wine and a book? 15 minutes, and that included making a batch of soy milk at the same time, dealing with the cats, raking in Christmas packages left by UPS, taking all those pictures, talking to Smucky via AIM, and being extremely tired.