Recipe by NcMysteryShopper
Ted Allen is best known for being the food and wine guy on Bravo's popular Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. But he was an accomplished cook and writer long before Bravo. This a great recipe because it takes little effort and produces results that make people think otherwise. Allen says you can add cooked chicken or shrimp or asparagus to this dish. I like it with soba, a Japanese-style noodle made from buckwheat, but you can make it with penne, fettuccine, or farfalle, as well.
Top Review by Halima Dances
Very tasty, but was missing something when I tasted the sauce. I added a 1" piece of peeled and sliced ginger root, and about 5 shakes of fish sauce to the food processor when pureeing the sauce. Otherwise excellent. Don't skip toasting the sesame seeds as it really shows up in the final product.
- kosher salt, for boiling
- 1⁄4 cup sesame seeds
- 1⁄4 cup peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1⁄3 cup roasted peanuts or 1⁄3 cup roasted cashews
- 1⁄3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mirin or 1 tablespoon sherry wine
- 1 -2 medium garlic clove
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
- 1 English cucumber, peeled (also called hothouse cukes the long, skinny ones)
- 1 lb soba noodles
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 scallions, green parts only, sliced 1/4 inch thick on an angle
- honey, to taste (optional)
Directions See How It's Made
- Bring a large pot of salted water (1 teaspoon salt per quart of water) to a boil.
- Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they turn a light golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.
- Combine peanut butter, sesame oil, peanuts, soy sauce, vinegar, mirin or sherry, garlic, and red pepper flakes in your food processor and puree Stir in half the toasted sesame seeds.
- Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon; discard the seeds. Slice cucumber halves crosswise about 1/4 inch thick and set aside.
- When the water comes to a boil, add noodles and cook until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain very well and add noodles to a bowl. Add mixture from food processor, cilantro, and black pepper, and toss to coat.
- Turn out onto a large platter. Arrange the cucumber slices around the edge of the platter and sprinkle with scallions and the remaining sesame seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.