Spicy Sesame Noodles with Peanuts and Basil

I’m starting to get nervous about how our upcoming move is going to affect my cooking. In addition to all the usual moving issues – having to buy pantry staples all over again, unpacking pots and pans, etc. – we’re not bringing our car to DC. I’m honestly not sure how much this will change my grocery shopping habits. I usually make a meal plan for the week and then make a big trip to the store on either Saturday or Sunday, but that’s not nearly as easy to do sans car.

One thing I know we’ll have to do right away is rent a Zipcar to make one big grocery run for pantry staples. I’m always surprised how much you can throw together almost entirely using pantry staples – and these sesame noodles are a great example. Since I already had some fresh basil on hand, all I had to buy to make these were green onions. It bums me out that I’ll have to buy so many of these ingredients all over again, even though I have half-full or nearly-full bottles just sitting there in my fridge. Moving is expensive in more ways than you think!

SPICY SESAME NOODLES WITH PEANUTS AND BASIL (slightly adapted from Epicurious)

3 tbsp sesame oil, divided
2 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp (or more) hot chili oil, found in Asian section of supermarket
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 pound egg noodles or angel hair pasta
12 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the sesame oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Transfer to large bowl. Add soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, remaining sesame oil, sugar, chili oil, and sugar, whisking to blend.
  2. Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain thoroughly and transfer to bowl with sauce. Add sliced green onions and toss to coat noodles.
  3. Refrigerate until noodles have absorbed dressing, tossing occasionally, up to 1 hour. Stir in peanuts and basil; toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

I had this as a light dinner one night when my husband was working late. I’m not sure they’re substantial enough for him to consider it a filling meal, but I really enjoyed the flavor and the cold noodles on a hot summer day.

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