One of my Mom's favorite Chinese appetizers is peanut sesame noodles served cold. I always thought it a strange combination but it's really just nuts and starch, the Asian equivalent to an American peanut butter sandwich or peanut butter swirled into breakfast oatmeal. Really a fantastic duo! So as my Mom is now recovering from major shoulder surgery and to celebrate a belated Chinese New Year, I recreated this recipe for her.
It's super easy...just mix up the sauce ingredients in one bowl or a blender, then toss with cooked noodles. The sauce is a creamy blend of rich, salty, sweet and tart (and spice if you like). There may be some scallions or vegetables added but traditionally not much else.
My twist on this classic recipe was to use Pasta Zero shirataki spaghetti from Nasoya, and add baked tofu and spinach. Nasoya sent over samples of their new, improved Pasta Zero noodles. I had worked with Nasoya a few years ago when I first tested their shirataki noodles, a very low carb and low calorie blend of potato starch, konjac flour, and chickpea flour (just 30 calories per 8 oz. serving!). There's no cooking needed; after removing the noodles from the package and rinsing, they're ready to eat. My recipe then was very similar to this one, except this recipe is much creamier and richer tasting because of the peanut butter.
These revamped Pasta Zero noodles do taste better! Once I added the peanut sauce, the shirataki noodles became soft and velvety—heaven! So dreamy delicious, the perfect comfort food. What I love about this recipe is that though it's not a low calorie dish with the peanut butter, you drastically lower the calories by substituting the shirataki spaghetti, without sacrificing any flavor whatsoever.
Creamy Peanut Noodles with Tofu (makes 2 servings)
8 oz. package Nasoya Pasta Zero Shirataki Spaghetti
Generous 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (or smooth if preferred)
2 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 T canola oil
2 T honey or agave nectar
1 tsp sesame oil (if desired)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup baked tofu (I used Nasoya Sesame Ginger Baked Tofu), diced into cubes
1/2 cup baby spinach
- Remove and rinse well the shirataki noodles under cool water. Drain well and set aside.
- Microwave peanut butter in microwave-safe bowl for about 15-30 seconds until slightly melted. Add the next seven ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Add diced tofu and baby spinach and mix again until well incorporated (note that I microwaved the spinach for 20 seconds to soften it).
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Per serving: 400 calories, 30 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams protein
Disclosure: I received free samples of Pasta Zero Shirataki Spaghetti to help facilitate this post. The recipe, thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.