This is a staple in our household, now with my own little family of 4 and when I was growing up. It’s one of those dishes that you can turn to when you have nothing planned; easy, makes use of the pantry, and any leftovers. The sauce is the most important part, which is mostly things you likely already have in your kitchen (peanut butter, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar) and some optional add ons for even more flavour.
In the recipe I’ve listed the ingredients I happened to use today, but honestly every time I make this it changes just a little bit! For example, last time I had zucchini and sugar snap peas to use up so those were the veggies that went into the noodles. You can use whatever you have in your fridge or buy your favourite veggies for it. I tend to have these flat noodles always available in my pantry (it’s called Wu-mu dry noodles, made in Taiwan – you can find it at Loblaws / Superstore in the international section or any Asian grocery store), but if you don’t have this you can most definitely use other dry noodles, such as linguine, rice noodles (think flat ones for pad thai), or even egg noodles. Just make sure you read the package for optimal cooking time for the noodles you’ve chosen.
Saturdays are busy for us so this is a great go-to lunch on the weekend. It is also great on a weeknight if you have leftover protein from the night before but not enough for everyone to have a solid portion (let’s say, a chicken drum and half a chicken breast) – you can slice up the protein into bite size pieces and simply add it to your noodles. We’ve done left over pork, tofu, turkey, steak, even store-bought ham works. You can keep it super simple or jazz it up by adding in all the optional ingredients.
prep: 15 min cook: 10 min yield: 6-8 servings
what you need:
- ~8 heads of bok choy (equivalent of a typical package)
- 1 large carrot or 2 medium carrots
- dry noodles (about 2 handfuls)
- 2 green onions *optional
- 1 handful of cilantro *optional
peanut butter sauce:
- 2 heaping tbsp natural peanut butter
- 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp naturally brewed soy sauce or Tamari
- something sweet 1 1/2 tsp (honey, sugar, maple syrup, mirin, whatever you have)
- 1 1/2 tsp grape seed oil (or other mild tasting cooking oil)
- zest of 1 lime and it’s juice *optional – instead you can use 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger *optional – you could use garlic in addition, instead, or omit completely
- 1 red chilli (or something spicy like jalapeno) *optional – if you’re serving kids you can always add this only to the adult portion, or add desired hot sauce such as sriracha on top afterwards
what to do:
- Fill your kettle to max capacity and boil water. Get a large pot on the stove with 4″ of water on high heat.
- Wash bok choy thoroughly and slice thinly. Wash and peel carrots and cut into matchstick sizes.
- Kettle is likely boiling now – add it to your large pot on the stove.
- Combine sauce ingredients in a mason jar and shake really well.
- Cook noodles according to package in boiling water. For the last minute of noodle cooking, add your chopped carrots and bok choy to quickly blanch the veggies.
- Reserve 1 cup of noodle cooking liquid. Drain the rest and place cooked noodles and veggies in a large serving platter. Top with sauce and toss to combine. If it seems dry, add a little bit of the reserved liquid and toss again, until desired consistency.
- Sprinkle chopped green onion and cilantro over top. ENJOY!