To be honest, I don’t have this one down yet, but it’s so amazing that I need to post and then work it out so that it doesn’t get lost. So, there’s this chain restaurant in the midwest called Big Bowl and they have this outlier dish on their appetizer menu. For, like, $5 you get a dish of cold noodles in a (to die for) sesame peanut sauce, with julienned cucumber and cilantro, to mix in as you see fit. After a bit of day drinking on a hot day, it is my absolute favorite dish to eat. But when doing the paleo/whole30 thing, day drinking is basically out and the noodles are totally out, cue whah whah whah music.
The only thing to do… make them myself. The sauce wasn’t particularly hard as they have a starter recipe online. I translated that into ingredients I can consume and viola! The problem has been the noodles and the preparation. I tried all manner of spiralizing – but they came up too wet. Today, I had leftover egg roll in a bowl plus some cabbage and yellow squash, so I stir fried those, threw in the egg roll leftovers and the sauce, cooked it so that it was all heated through. Tossed in a bit more sauce. Delish.
(The next challenge is to see about the cold variety with cucumber and cilantro. We will see what happens!)
1/2c fine grapeseed oil
1c raw cashews
½c freshly brewed black tea
1T chopped ginger
6 garlic cloves
2T apple cider (or 1T honey)
3T coconut aminos (possibly more to taste
1/4c rice wine vinegar
3T sesame oil
Salt to taste
chinese egg noodle, cooked and cooled, or
1/2 green cabbage, rough chopped + 3 yellow squash julienned + pulled meat or cooked ground beef
cucumber, julienned (optional)
fresh cilantro (optional)
chopped cashews (optional)
bean sprouts (optional)
Heat oil in pan until almost smoking. Add in the cashews, turn off heat, and let cook until cashews are light brown and smell roasted. Remove cashews and reserve oil.
If you have a ninja or the like, that’s perfect, you will get a fine sauce, other tools will probably leave it chunkier, but that’s ok. Grind the peanuts with 1/4c of reserved oil and a splash of tea. Add in the ginger, garlic, sambal and apple juice and grind until smooth. Add in aminos, vinegar and the rest of the tea, grind until mixed. With the blender running, stream in the sesame oil.
Grind the peanuts to a coarse paste. Add ¼ cup of the reserved oil, a splash of the tea, the ginger, garlic, chili peppers, salt and sugar and continue to grind. Add the soy sauces and vinegar and grind some more. Remove to a mixing bowl and stir in the oils by hand. Stir in the remaining tea until the sauce is smooth.
If you’re using noodles, god bless ya, toss in sauce (more sauce than you think is right) and serve with julienned cucumber and cilantro. If doing the cabbage thing above, heat sesame oil, saute cabbage until pliable, add in yellow squash, cook for a couple of minutes. Add in cooked meat and about 1c of sauce. Cook until all is heated through. Add in another 1/2c of sauce. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve with any or all of the added toppings.