Part of the reason I enjoy coming to the beach to visit my mom is raiding her cupboards. I do also enjoy yelling at her that she has too much stuff and that I'm going to sign her up for Hoarders if she doesn't look out. Clean Sweep sounded fun. Hoarders she doesn't like. Then I take the stuff I like that I know she won't use before it expires and we're all happy.
It's hot and humid in Delaware in the summer which is why someone had the foresight to put a beach in walking distance. We'll hit the ocean later, but right now the house (climate controlled with a bunch of random fans) is a steam bath. Good for the skin, I'm sure, but it doesn't inspire me to want to make a hot meal.
So here's some summer udon noodles with a cold Asian peanut sauce. I used fairly even amounts of all the ingredients, but you can adjust in any combination based on what you like or have on hand.
Summer udon noodles with cold peanut sauce Serves 4 normal or 2 hungry people.
1 package of udon or other stringy noodles (the udon was 9 oz.)
2 small zucchini grated
2 small yellow squash grated
2 small carrots grated (a big handful of baby carrots works, too)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar*
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
Boil water for noodles.
Optional: I used the strainer that goes in the pasta pot to blanch the veggies. You can leave them raw if you like, but I wanted them to kind of melt in with the sauce. I put the strainer in the pasta water pot with the veggies for about 2 minutes then took it out and ran them under cold water to stop the cooking and chill. Don't drain the pasta water, you need this to cook the noodles. I suppose you could always just start to cook the noodles then add the veggies for the last two minutes and drain the whole thing, but I only just thought of that now.
Cook noodles according to package directions (mine took 4 minutes) then drain and rinse with cold water.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and peanut butter.
Mix the veggies and pasta into the sauce. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and taste for seasonings. You can eat it right away or stick it in the fridge to get even more chilled. The sauce will absorb more sauce the more you let it sit.
Serve in a shallow bowl or plate with chopsticks for slurping or a fork and spoon for twirling.
*Seasoned rice vinegar is the stuff you add to rice to make sushi rice. It's just rice vinegar with added salt and sugar. If you only have rice vinegar in your arsenal, that's fine, too, but you may consider adding a little mirin or sugar if it needs a little something when you taste for seasonings.