Cold Sesame-Peanut Noodles with Pickled Cucumber + Green Beans
Why we love it:
- 1⁄2 cup Rice Vinegar
- 1 cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 1 English Cucumber
- 2 Carrots
- 1⁄2 pound Green Beans
- 4 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley
- 1 package Udon Noodles (or soba, Chinese egg noodles, even spaghetti)
- 1⁄4 cup Peanut Butter
- 1 Lime (zested and juiced)
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (we love tamari)
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil (toasted)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Sriracha (or more, to taste)
- 1 Tablespoon White Sesame Seeds
- 4 Tablespoons Chopped Peanuts (optional, for garnish)
1. BRING A PASTA POT FULL OF WATER TO A BOIL
In a small pot, combine the rice vinegar, water, sugar, and ½ of the salt. Bring it to a boil over high heat, stir the bottom of the pan a few times to make sure the sugar and salt dissolve.
While it’s heating up, slice the cucumber in to thin, even slices, about ¼-⅓” thick.
As soon as the liquid is boiling, turn off the heat, and add the cucumber slices. Press them down to get as many as you can completely submerged.
3. PREP VEGGIES
Use the large holes on a box grater to grate the carrots. If you wash them first, there’s no need to peel them. Place in a bowl.
Trim the stem end off the green beans, then slice them in ½ on a diagonal. Set aside in a bowl.
Chop up some parsley.
When the water is boiling, add the other ½of the salt. Add the noodles and stir.
After about 5 minutes, add the green beans to the boiling water too.
Continue cooking until the noodles are al dente, following package instructions (typically, about 8 - 10 minutes). Drain in a colander.
In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. That’s the: peanut butter, lime zest and juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, and ground ginger. Add sriracha, whisk and taste it. Add more if you like it spicier.
Use a measuring spoon to lift 1 - 2 Tablespoons of the pickling liquid out of the pot and whisk it in to the sauce. Start with less, and taste. You can add more if you like the sauce tangier.
The sauce will be thick, but it should still drip off of a spoon. If it’s too thick, whisk in a tablespoon of water.
Add the noodles to the sauce. Toss gently, but thoroughly to fully coat all of the strands. Add in the carrots and parsley.
Plate in big, shallow bowls. Garnish each with some of the cucumber quick-pickles, sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, and more sriracha to taste.
Any leftover pickles can be stored for a month in the fridge! If you were careful to only put clean utensils in the pickle liquid (i.e. not your fingers, and not a fork that went into your mouth and back into the pickles) you can add more veggies to this same liquid. More cucumbers, sliced carrots, asparagus, green beans, sliced jalapeños, cauliflower florets, etc. They’ll turn pickled overnight.