These photos are nothing to write home about, but I wanted to share this super quick, cheap, and easy weeknight dinner idea. Behold: cold sesame noodles (chinese take-out style) and pan fried dumplings. Here’s how to do it…
First, put on a pot of water to boil your spaghetti. You could use chinese noodles if you get a hold of them, but I almost always use De Cecco spaghetti. Dump frozen dumplings of your choice into a skillet (we’ve been digging Trader Joe’s chicken and cilantro wontons), add a few tablespoons of water, then turn on the heat to medium high. This par-steams them and lets them heat up without burning.
Meanwhile, In a bowl, combine your peanut sauce. Note: I generally eyeball this. You really can’t go wrong, just taste and adjust to your liking, keeping in mind that the sauce is potent on its own (this makes enough to serve 2, double if you’re serving more)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/3 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1-2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or sriracha
Stir together, adding a small splash of water to thin it out if necessary.
Once the water has evaporated from your skillet with dumplings, add 1 tablespoon of neutral oil like canola or vegetable. Shake the skillet to release any dumplings that are beginning to stick to the pan, using a spatula if necessary. Keep an eye on them as they begin to color and crisp up.
Once your pasta’s ready, drain, then cool with cold running water. Dump pasta back into pot, drizzle in a little sesame oil and toss to coat. Add your peanut sauce, continuing to toss. Garnish with sesame seeds and some thinly sliced and peeled cucumber.
Flip your dumplings once, remove once they’re fulled heated through and have a nice crispy exterior. And bam! Dinner is served. Bonus: these noodles are very, very good cold out of the fridge the next day.