Are you a fan of strong flavors? Do you absolutely love peanut butter, and think it can accompany any meal; breakfast, lunch, snack, AND dinner? Like to eat your meal within 20 minutes of starting to cook it?
If you answered yes to all of these craftily pointed questions, then I am pleased to announce that I have found the perfect recipe for YOU! Straight from the beautiful Polynesian Resort’s lovely restaurant, ‘Ohana, I give you their masterful Stir Fried Noodle recipe!
I will admit right off the bat that I did take a couple of shortcuts. They were necessary, and you can feel free to use them. I promise that the flavor was not compromised. All right, let’s get to it!
First things first, gather your peanut butter sauce ingredients in one happy pile. You will need to chop 2 cloves of garlic, about 1/4 of a Spanish onion (very sweet!), and chop about 1 tablespoon of roasted peanuts.
Note: Chop up an extra tablespoon of roasted peanuts to garnish the dish.
Add those ingredients to a heavy bottom pot, along with 1/2 cup of good, smooth peanut butter and a 1/4 cup of soy sauce, sugar, and water each. Now, let’s address the ginger situation, or Shortcut #1.
The recipe calls for a chopped piece of ginger (about 2″ long). Up here in the north, we don’t always have ginger, and if we do, it isn’t always fresh. I used to substitute fresh ginger for powder, which does sacrifice the flavor. The ginger was always sort of off, because fresh versus powder is hardly comparable. But one day, the Ginger Gods heard my plea, and to ward off my agony, they delivered the above product to my grocery store. It’s fresh ginger, processed into an easy squeeze tube. I added about 1 tablespoon of this ginger to the pot along with the other sauce ingredients.
Let this mixture boil gently while stirring often. Once it gets to a boil, turn the heat down and let simmer for ten minutes. Now, you could take this sauce, add it to a blender, and puree it til smooth. OR, you can use the most under-rated kitchen tool of our time.
This is a great tool for mashing potatoes, blended vegetables for cream soup, and now, blending yummy peanut butter sauce! I’m telling you, invest in this. It’s magical.
While you wait for the sauce to boil (trust me, it doesn’t take long at all!), start preparing the noodle part of the dish.
Warm up 2 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil in a wok (or deep saucepan). Slice up 1/2 red pepper into small slices, and an equal amount of pineapple. Add to a wok along with ginger and garlic.
Shortcut #2: The original recipe calls for pureeing the ginger and garlic together, but that’s too much work, and feels unnecessary. I simply squeezed my ginger into the vegetables, and added about a tablespoon of minced garlic.
Once the vegetables have incorporated and the peppers are tender, you can add your udon noodles.
Again, I was limited to the udon selection at my grocery store, and this caused me to take on Shortcut #3, or instant, fully-cooked noodles. The awesome part of having this around is that since they are cooked, you don’t need to boil water and dirty another pot. So… yay!
Add the noodles to the cooked vegetable mixture. As the package says, I needed to cook this through for 2 minutes. Make sure whatever type of udon noodles you use, that they are cooked and tender before adding the sauce.
Once the noodles are done, add your luciously peanut buttery sauce to the wok. Don’t add it all at once. Depending on your own measurements and preference of sauce-to-noodle ratio, I would suggest adding about 1/2 cup of sauce to the noodles first, mix thoroughly, and taste. Remember, you control the quality and quantity of the ingredients, so make it to your liking!
Top the final product off with some chopped peanuts, and wa la! Simple, right? Keep this recipe in your back pocket and you will truly impress those foodie friends of yours! Enjoy!