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.