Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Noodles with Vegetables and Peanut Sauce

3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce***
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey (or alternative sweetener)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot chili paste
1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh gingerroot
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 pound fresh Shiitake mushrooms or button mushrooms, sliced
1 sweet red pepper, sliced
1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Blend together peanut butter, hoisin sauce, soy sauce,lemon juice, honey, sesame oil, chili paste and water.Reserve.Heat oil in wok or large skillet. Add garlic, gingerand green onions. Cook gently for 1 or 2 minutes,until very fragrant. Add mushrooms and red pepper andcook until tender. Add peanut butter mixture and heatfor 1 minute. Reserve.

Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook for 5 minutes. Add broccoli andcarrots and cook for 5 minutes longer. Drain. Combine sauce with spaghetti and vegetables. Toss withcilantro and basil.

Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. You can also try rice stick instead of the pasta. It will require softening in hot water rather thanboiling and is well worth the effort.

***Hoisin Sauce: A thick sauce valued for its unique combination of sweet and spicy flavors, hoisin sauce is made from soybean paste and flavored with garlic, sugar, chilies, and other spices and ingredients. It is used in cooking, as a dipping sauce, and is a key ingredient in many Chinese barbecue sauce recipes. In addition, it is also used to glaze roasted meat. Hoisin sauce is available in both jars and cans. If purchased in a can, transfer to a closed container and refrigerate. If purchased in a jar, refrigerate after opening.

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