This is one of my stand-by recipes. It’s one of my favorites because the leftovers heat up really well and there’s enough flavor and intensity to make it an appealing and appetizing brown-bag lunch option during a ho-hum week. I’ve been making this recipe since 2009 (I think?) and had some trouble locating the original recipe. David and I try to cook new dishes and recipes as much as we can, so the fact that this is still in rotation shows that it’s a winner. A few years ago, peanut oil and chili garlic sauce were not staples in my pantry, but they both keep exceptionally well, even if this is the only dish you use them in. (Now peanut oil goes in lots of dishes, the chili garlic sauce still gets used mostly for this… for now).
I call this dish healthy, but there are still some pitfalls to be aware of. This is a good recipe to try out with whole wheat spaghetti – the sauce is bold enough to stand up on its own. The flavor of whole wheat pasta doesn’t clash with the sauce, a complaint I’ve heard about whole wheat pasta before. There’s also a lot of fat here, mostly from the peanut oil. Reading the label, though, shows most of the fat is mono- or polyunsaturated (though there are 2 g saturated fat per Tablespoon). Sodium can also add up quickly here – use low sodium soy sauce or the final dish will taste overwhelmingly salty. Go easy on the chili garlic sauce if spicy food isn’t your thing.
Thai-style Noodles in Garlicky Peanut Sauce
Adapted from Cooking Light
4 Tablespoons peanut butter
6 Tablespoons peanut oil
2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon garlic chili sauce
1/2 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
7 oz. marinated firm tofu
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the peanut butter, peanut oil, soy sauce, vinegar, chili sauce, and garlic. Prepare the tofu by slicing it into bite-size dice, about 1/2-inch thick.
3. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. While the noodles are hot, stir in the prepared sauce and mix to combine. Add the tofu, peanuts, and cilantro to the noodles. Using tongs, portion servings into pasta bowls and serve.