My Nemesis: Peanut Noodles.

One of my favorite foods is a good hot or cold bowl of peanut noodles.  You know the kind, where each noodle has slipped into a luscious coat of peanutty, salty, umami-y, savory sauce.  Where little bits of peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and maybe bok choi poke their noses out here and there, where wily hot peppers lurk in dark corners, and where a piquant squeeze of  a lime segment leaves a random trail of bright acidity.  Not pad thai (though that’s great, too), but full on peanut noodles.  I could happily live on those noodles, except for one teeny, weeny, itsy, bitsy problem:  I am incapable of making said noodles.  And the last place I got a satisfactory bowl of peanut noodles is firmly located in a distant hemisphere.  Yes, this is a problem.

And don’t tell me to “google” it.  Lordy loo, I have googled peanut noodle recipes until my fingers have fallen straight off.  (Well, OK, not quite that far, but close).  I have tried everything from witch-doctored up concotions of asian market bargain sauces, purist peanut formulas, and anything and everything in between.  I went through what my husband calls my “peanut gallery” phase, where we ate (bad) peanut noodles at least thrice weekly.

See, the thing is, I refuse to believe that there is some special quality about the air or water or whatever of asia that makes peanut noodles taste amazing there, that is somehow lacking here.  I don’t believe there’s a magical ingredient (well, MSG is close, but I’ve tried that too…no dice) that is lacking in my attempts.  It may be a question of skill, but short of making my own noodles from scratch, I’ve got the whole noodle-preparation thing down pretty well.  And yet.

So the search continues.  Someday, I’ll find a recipe that works.  Or I’ll kidnap find someone who does make awesome peanut noodles on this side of the pacific pond, and force beg them to share their secrets.

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