A 10 Minute Weeknight Dinner

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)

Peanut Sauce

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.

8 thoughts on “A 10 Minute Weeknight Dinner

  1. OMG! I tried the cold noodles recipe this weekend (didn’t have any dumplings on hand) and had some for almost every meal. Thanks for the idea 🙂

  2. Joy, as delicious as this recipe looks, I’d really like to keep my finger. Maybe I will substitute it with ginger instead 😉

  3. potstickers/wontons/dumplings are my favorite easy dinner. The mini cilantro wontons are the base for what I call potsticker salad which is wontons cooked exactly like you did, then tossed with spinach, cucumber, peanuts, bell pepper, whatever else I have in the fridge, and a dressing that’s soy, sesame oil, and sriracha. Too bad the nearest TJ’s is thousands of miles alway. I’ve tried to make it with the frozen dumplings available near me and it’s just not as good.

  4. Last night I got home and realized I had exactly 15 minutes for dinner, and I remembered seeing this recipe. So I followed your instructions and ingredients to a tee — it fit right into my time frame and it was delicious! It was exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for sharing!

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