Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Peanut-Tamarind Noodles with Spring Vegetables
Mung bean thread are a great addition to your pantry--they're cheap, a good source of protein, and require no actual cooking, which makes them ideal for a spring evening when you want dinner ten minutes ago. You can find them in Asian grocery stores or a well-stocked international aisle in the supermarket, but if you don't have access to either of those sources, you can certainly do this with regular old angel hair or any long, thin pasta. (Not sure if they're gluten-free, so this post isn't tagged "gluten-free"--any of you GF folks know?)
Fresh shelling peas are so sweet and delicious that you can eat them raw if you're a veggie enthusiast. Here, they're briefly soaked in boiling water with the mung bean thread, which cooks them just enough without making them mushy.
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, chopped into 1-inch segments
1 cup freshly shelled peas
8 ounces mung bean thread
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup-3/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon tamari
a few drops toasted sesame oil, if you have it
Steam asparagus until just tender and bright green, 5-10 minutes, then run cold water over it to stop it from cooking. Place the peas and mung bean thread in a large bowl and cover with plenty of boiling water while you make the sauce.
To make the sauce, combine peanut butter, 1/2 cup hot water, tamarind, cilantro, cayenne, tamari and optional sesame oil in a small bowl and blend with an immersion blender until creamy. If it's too thick, add more hot water.
Drain the peas and mung bean thread, return to the large bowl and mix with the peanut sauce. Top each portion with asparagus segments.