One of my favorite things to serve as an appetizer at a summer soirée is Peanut Sesame Noodles in Chinese take-out containers. I'll make at least two batches of the recipe below, fill 30-40 small boxes, and serve each with wooden chopsticks. (My local Chinese place sells the boxes and chopsticks; I'm sure yours will, too.) They are always a hit, and someone inevitably walks into the kitchen looking for more. The trick is to dress the noodles just before serving. Otherwise they absorb all of the sauce and dry out.
For Peanut Dressing
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1 medium garlic clove, chopped
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
For Noodle Salad
- 3/4 lb dried linguine fini or spaghetti (I used Soba noodles above)
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- Purée dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 2 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl.
- Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain in colander then rinse well under cold water.
- Add pasta, scallions and sesame seeds to dressing, tossing to combine.
- If serving in take-out containers, fill each box about 3/4 full, and serve immediately.