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Steak with Friends
by Rick Tramonto with Mary Goodbody

When I decided to try my hand at a peanut dipping sauce, I discovered the mixture was also great as a noodle sauce and even a vinaigrette. And so, here is my version of a favorite cold noodle salad Although the sauce has sesame oil, I don't rely on sesame elsewhere, but instead use ground peanuts for a lot of the great flavor, as well as soy sauce that I doctor to make it taste even better. All in all, a great cold starter salad or accompaniment to grilled meats. My kids love this one!
Serves 4


    • 1 pound Chinese egg noodles
    • 3/4 cup Peanut Salad Dressing (recipe follows)
    • 1/2 cup hot brewed Chinese black tea
    • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
    • 1 cup chopped cucumber
    • 1 cup finely sliced red bell pepper
    • 1 red jalapeho pepper or another mildly spicy pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
    • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
    • 8 lime wedges


Fill a large saucepan about two-thirds with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook according to the package directions. Drain.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the peanut dressing with the hot tea. Add the hot noodles and toss to mix well.
Serve garnished with peanuts, cucumber, red pepper, jalapeno, scallions, sesame seeds, and lime wedges.


Makes about 2½ cups

    • 1 cup raw unsalted peanuts
    • 1/4 cup peanut oil
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 5 tablespoons high-quality soy sauce
    • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 small red chile pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted Szechuan pepper
    • Kosher salt
    • 6 tablespoons sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon chili oil

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the peanuts until finely ground. Add the peanut oil and pulse to moisten slightly. Add the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, chile pepper, chili flakes, Szechuan pepper, and salt to taste and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

Stir the sesame oil and chili oil into the sauce. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Use for other salads, even tossed green salads, and for other pasta salads.


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