Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dan Dan Noodles (30 minute recipe!)

This savory, creamy, and slightly peanuty noodle dish is like a combination of all your favorite Asian dishes! It's family friendly and weeknight friendly, too!

I'm not going to pretend that this noodle dish isn't completely Americanized. It totally is. But it's sooo good and super simple to whip up even after a busy workday. I actually made this for dinner the night before I left for summer camp a couple of months ago. I knew I'd be eating more than my share of kid friendly fare so I wanted something Asian inspired before loading up on the bus. This hit the spot! It was simple and fast (helpful, since I was packing at the last minute!) and SO tasty.

While the pasta cooks, you brown some ground beef and then simmer it in a sauce of peanut butter, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, brown sugar, and more. All staple ingredients that you likely already have on hand! Start to finish, you're done in 30 minutes or less - including the time you're waiting on the water to boil. (Does anyone else get incredibly impatient waiting on water to boil?)

Time saving tip: use your microplane grater to grate the garlic cloves and ginger right over the pan! 

Dan Dan Noodles
12 ounces dried spaghetti noodles
1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 pounds lean ground turkey or beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Cook the spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Once al dente, drain and rinse with cool water. Return the noodles to the pot and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and sesame oil until smooth. Set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground meat, salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Cook, breaking the meat into small pieces, until no longer pink, around 6-7 minutes. Drain any excess grease, leaving the meat in the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium, whisk the sauce to recombine, and pour the sauce over the drained meat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the cilantro.

Pour the sauce over the pot of noodles and, using tongs, gently combine. Serve immediately.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

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