The spring rolls and peanut sauce at Saigon 39 are what I normally turn to when I'm experiencing a peanut sauce craving, but sometimes you've just gotta whip up your own. These Peanut Noodles, adapted from a Mollie Katzen recipe, are awesome the day you make them, and then the next day they're even better.
1 1/4 c peanut butter
1 1/4 c boiling water
4 Tbs rice wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
2 T superfine sugar
1 T soy sauce
1 T crushed red pepper
3 T sesame oil
1 lb vermicelli
1 english cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into thin strips
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
8 scallions, minced (both whites & greens)
handful of dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
fresh cilantro, minced
Cook vermicelli according to pkg directions for al dente pasta.
In a bowl, mix peanut butter & boiling water until smooth and well-blended.
Stir in next seven ingredients.
Drain vermicelli & transfer to a large serving bowl. Pour 3/4 of sauce over noodles and toss. If not moist enough, add rest of sauce. Otherwise, save additional sauce for leftovers the next day.
Serve in bowl topped with cucumber, carrots, peanuts, and cilantro.