Friday, March 21, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Shrimp and Peanut Butter Noodles

Pasta and peanut butter are two of my favorite foods -- as in, I could happily live on just those two foods for the rest of my life!  Combine the two, and I am in culinary heaven.  Add two more beloved comestibles, namely shrimp and broccoli, and I have found nirvana.  Who knew that peanut butter and shrimp would work so well together?  Obviously, the person who posted this recipe for Shrimp and Peanut Butter Noodles, to whom I am forever grateful.  I changed the recipe only slightly.  I used spaghetti instead of udon noodles, which I did not have.  I also substituted rice wine vinegar for Chinese black vinegar, which I also did not have and had not even heard of before.  And then I doubled the amount of broccoli and stirred in some leftover sliced scallions.  (Really, these were very minor changes and only necessary for convenience.)  If I had to choose just one meal to consume for the rest of my life, this would be it.  Could I really give up cheese and all manner of sweets for this dish?  Thank goodness I'll never have to find out!

Shrimp and Peanut Butter Noodles

1/4 C. peanut butter
2 T. light soy sauce
2 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. sugar
1 T. sesame oil
8 oz. spaghetti
1 lb. frozen jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined*
2 C. broccoli florets, steamed
4 scallions, sliced
1/4 C. chopped peanuts (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the first five ingredients.  Set aside.  Cook the spaghetti according to the  package directions, adding the frozen shrimp for about the last three minutes, cooking until the shrimp turn pink and opaque (do not overcook).  Drain the pasta mixture and return it to the pot.  Stir in the broccoli.  Add the peanut butter sauce and toss until the pasta is well coated.  Garnish each serving with chopped peanuts, if desired.  Serves 4.

Note:  If the pasta seems a bit dry after stirring in the sauce, add 1-2 T. vegetable oil, or reserve some of the pasta cooking water and use that instead.

*If you do not plan to serve the entire dish at one meal, you may want to cook the shrimp separately in the amount needed (about five jumbo shrimp per person) and stir it into the individual servings, because reheating leftover shrimp will make them tough.

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