Recipe: $3.40 | Per Serving: $0.85
This flavorful peanut sauce is a cinch to throw together! Toss it on your favorite noodles, veggies, and protein, and you've got a stellar weeknight dinner!
I've made a lot of peanut sauce this year, especially in the first few weeks here in Japan when I had 3 (3!!) full jars of Trader Joe's Peanut Butter all to myself. When I first concocted this peanut soba back in Peru in 2013, I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn't even try to look up a recipe. The first time was a flop because I tried to heat the peanut butter on the stove to soften it (DON'T DO IT), but the second & subsequent attempts were all awesome.
Now that my recipe-writing and blog-posting skills are slightly more sophisticated, I'm happy to share an improved version of the original. I perfected this way back in February, but got so distracted by all the other recipes that I forgot to post it. When I decided to make some last weekend, I realized the recipe never made it to the blog. SO, here it is in all its delicious glory!
One super exciting thing about this meal is that I used HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER. Since real peanut butter doesn't exist in Japan, I started making the homemade stuff, and it actually came together pretty easily. I'm no longer stressed about running out of peanut butter.
I have now made this with homemade peanut butter twice. First with un-roasted peanuts, and then with roasted peanuts (pictured above). Both were delicious, but I preferred the consistency of the second sauce. Also, my Japanese friends thought peanut butter + soba was the weirdest thing in the world. They DON'T KNOW. This stuff is AWESOME. I want to make it again right now.
You can add some meat, but I prefer it with only vegetables, which are totally interchangeable. This weekend we only had carrots, cabbage, and green onions available, and it was still awesome. Some delicious options include:
- bell peppers
- shiitake mushrooms
- green onion
- bok choy
- komatsu (which might be only available in Japan, but it's a lot like box choy)
- spiralized zucchini
- raw cucumber
- raw jicama
I made about 2.5 servings of peanut sauce last weekend - enough for my lunch, zac's dinner, and my after-work "dinner snack." First thing Zac told me after work: "I hope I was supposed to eat all of that peanut sauce, because I did." Who could blame him? I wanted to eat it with a spoon.
You can also double this sauce as a dipping sauce for SPRING ROLLS. No, I don't really make spring rolls, but I have in the past and they can be really really really awesome. Especially when smothered with peanut sauce.
Okay that's enough about that. Sorry for blabbing. Peanut Sauce. Make It. With Soba. And Veggies.Print
- 4 servings buckwheat soba (about 9 ounces)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 medium carrot, julienned
- 1 bell pepper (red or yellow), julienned
- 4-8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2-4 cups bok choy or chinese cabbage, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- For the Sauce:
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1.5 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1.5 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2.5 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- optional: ½ teaspoon honey or maple syrup for sauce
- optional toppings: green onion, sesame seeds, peanuts
- Bring a pot of water to boiling and cook soba, stirring occasionally, for about 5-6 minutes. Drain and rinse immediately to remove starch.
- Heat olive oil in pan. Sauté carrots for 3-5 minutes, until somewhat softened. Add garlic and stir, cooking until fragrant.
- Add shiitakes, bell peppers, and soy sauce. Sauté for several minutes until cooked completely, but not too soft or soggy. Add water or broth if necessary.
- Add ginger and bok choy or cabbage and quickly sauté until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the soba noodles. Mix with sauce and serve!
- For the sauce:
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or jar. Add a little water to thin out the sauce if necessary. Recipe makes about ⅔-3/4 cup.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins