Peanut Butter Noodles with DIY Garlic Chilli Oil
It can be hard to look beyond the two classic, failsafe recipes for peanut butter. One: spread on hot toast. Two: use finger as utensil, and stick in jar. We've been trying to perfect a PB noodle combo for a while and have found that the spice and adicity of the chilli and lime are key in preventing everything from becoming too rich and claggy.
If you can't find limes (it happens, we know), use a tiny splash of vinegar (preferabely rice or white wine vinegar) instead.
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 x 50g portions dried rice noodles or 2 x 150g sachets straight-to-wok wheat flour noodles or 2 nests dried egg noodles
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp peanut butter (use crunchy or smooth according to taste or what's available)
- 2 tsp DIY Garlic Chilli Oil, plus extra to serve
- 1 1/2 tbsp groundnut oil or other neutral oil
- juice of 1/2 - 1 lime
- 2 fried eggs, to serve (if hungry)
- couple of lime wedges, to serve
Start by making the DIY Chilli Oil. Add 75ml vegetable oil, 2 garlic cloves, sliced fairly thinly, 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes and 15 black peppercorns to a small saucepan and cook on a medium heat for around 7 minutes. As the oil heats and reaches a simmer, the colour of the chilli will begin to infuse it - which is what you want.
Keep a very close eye on the pan to ensure nothing burns (the chilli will darken, but turn the heat down if it looks like it's approaching anything near a boil, and use your nose to detect the faintest whiff of burning too).
Remove from the heat the very second the garlic begins to colour to a golden brown. Don't just turn the heat off - move the pan to rest on a cool hob. When cool enough, decant into a clean, sterilised jar and seal. Store in the cupboard - it will keep for months.
Thinly slice the red onion, and finely chop the garlic.
If using dried noodles, put a pot of water on to boil. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. (If using straight-to-wok noodles, add them to the pan after you have cooked the onion and garlic.)
Combine the soy sauce, peanut butter, chilli oil and the juice of half a lime in a small bowl and mix together.
Put a frying pan on a high heat and add the groundnut oil. Add the onion and garlic and fry until golden and a bit crispy round the edges, but not burnt. Add the soy sauce mix to the pan and heat for 30 seconds.
Drain the cooked noodles, add to the pan and mix everything together (if the mix looks too dry, add a splash of water). Taste, and add the additional lime juice if you think it needs it. Serve, topping each portion with a fried egg, if you like. Serve with lime wedges and extra chilli oil.
Watch how to make the recipe: