Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles

First up, this recipe is the first recipe I've shared that I would consider just for mums and dads. While it's not necessarily unhealthy in any way, it does have quite a bit of chili, honey and soy sauce. So best just to keep it for the grownups, at least for a little while. Of course, if your kids are older and like spicy food - go for it!

This recipe comes from a lot of tinkering and testing of various ingredients, techniques and cooking processes. And I'm happy to say that it is at a place that I am really happy with. Not only is it relatively simple to make but it is exceedingly delicious and works brilliantly to be made in advance or had as a leftover. It's also super versatile and can be added to or changed as your wants and cupboards dictate.

Christian's Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles

1/2 Cup Sesame Oil
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 tbsp finely chopped Red Chili Pepper (Lazy Chili is excellent)
1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Chili Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Granules
1/2 tsp Onion Granules
2 tbsp (heaped) Tahini
3 tbsp (heaped) Crunchy Peanut Butter
5 tbsp Soy Sauce
5 tbsp Honey
200g - 400g Medium Egg Noodles
Whatever vegetables you like!
Meat or Seafood, hot or cold, if you like...

Combine the Sesame Oil and Olive Oil and add to a saucepan with the finely chopped Red Chili Pepper. Bring to a moderate heat very gently - do not boil or overheat the oil as it will ruin the flavour. Once the oil starts to heat up, add the Chinese Five Spice, Ground Ginger, Crushed Red Chili Pepper, Garlic Granules and Onion Granules. Continue to heat the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes on a very moderate heat.

Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large mixing bowl. Use the back of a spoon and press the wet mix left in the sieve to 'squeeze' through as much liquid as possible. Once you've pressed through as much liquid as you can, run the spoon across the reverse side of the sieve and collect the fine mush that has collected their. Place this in the mixing bowl too.

Now add the Tahini, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Soy Sauce and Honey to the bowl. Whisk all the ingredients together vigorously. At this point, your Spicy Sesame Peanut Sauce is ready and can be used straight away. If you are making it ahead of time, simply allow it to cool, cover it and place it in a fridge for up to 48 hours ahead of use.

When you want to use the sauce, simply cook your noodles and throw them into the mixing bowl. Ensure the noodles are well mixed around the bowl and evenly coated in sauce. If you like your noodles quite 'wet' with a good amount of excess sauce, I would recommend using 200g of noodles. If, however, you prefer your noodles drier and with less loose sauce, use 400g of noodles. Bare in mind of course that if you are using more noodles, you may end up making a huge portion so think about proportionally reducing all ingredients.

The noodles are amazing as they are and will work either by themselves or as an accompaniment to a main dish. Either way, they also form the base to which you can basically add anything you want. I like to use carrots, baby sweetcorn, spring onion and red peppers, all finely sliced and julienned. I don't usually add meat but if you have leftover meat or seafood and want to add it then go for it.

Overall, I don't find these noodles to be especially spicy but I do enjoy my spicy food. If you find them too much, instead of using finely chopped Red Chili Pepper at the beginning, just use half a finely chopped red pepper.
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