In the past I've attempted to make Thai / Asian Food, and it usually turns out less than stellar. This recipe on the other hand was anything but mediocre. Plus, as an added bonus, it looked pretty (it actually looked exactly like the dish I had last weekend at the local Japanese Restaurant that cost me $12. So score for restaurant quality looking food). I think what made it look so professional was that the carrots were cut into matchsticks, and the beef was cut really fine (instead of chunked liked we normally cut meat), and we used cabbage. I know you're probably thinking eww cabbage, and I typically think that way, but it really worked in this recipe.
One thing I may do for next time I make this is slightly reduce the peanut butter measurements and increase the thai sauce amount to compensate, because when it was really hot I didn't notice so much, but as it cooled down I found that the peanut butter began to become a bit sticky. Not that that's really a bad thing or anything, it's just for me that doesn't like peanut butter (I sure seem to be using it a lot lately though, ironically), I found it a bit strong. But, I think the main thing I don't like about peanut butter is the after taste, and this recipe did not have that after taste, so I enjoyed it. Also by reducing the peanut butter proportion, you'll be saving a lot of calories. I never really though about it when I was making it, but the original recipe didn't call for any meat and the reason why is because the peanut butter probably supplies what protein you need for the meal. So with both the peanut butter and meat in this dish, you're looking at a wopping 43g of protein per serving (hmm, I guess I do protein dishes well. I come by it naturally though, I always tell my Mom she's a protein addict.) Unfortunately, the calories and fat are also wopping numbers in this dish, but it tastes good (and it is your whole meal after all, so you shouldn't feel the need to consume any additional calories on top of this).
It's recipes like this one that make me with I had 6 hands so I could be manning all the different frying pans and woks at the same time, but even more so I wish I had a bigger stove. I've never understood people's obsession with gas ranges (because I cook on one at my cabin and I just never thought it was that great. Then again, we make toast and boil water on the stove at the cabin, we never stir-fry, etc. there so I guess that's why), that is until I start making recipes like this. More importantly, I understand why people want the extra wide, 6 burner ranges. A little 4 element electric stove just isn't good enough when you have 1 wok and 2 frying pans going (or trying to go) at the same time.
Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious who adapted from Recipe Girl .
1/2 C. + 1 Tbsp. Water
6 Tbsp. Reduced-Fat Creamy Peanut Butter
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
1/4 Tsp. Ground Ginger (or 1 1/2 Tsp. Fresh Ginger, grated)
5 Tsp. Olive Oil (divided)
1 Tsp. Cornstarch
1 Tbsp. Thai Sauce
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 (7 oz) Packages Udon Noodles
1 C. Carrots, julienned
1 Small Onion, diced
1 C. Green Cabbage, shredded
1 C. Mushrooms, diced
1 lb Beef, sliced thin
*Optional* Sesame Seeds
~Prepare your vegetables and meat, set aside.
~In a large sauce pan, combine water, peanut butter, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, 2 Tsp oil (reserving the rest), cornstarch, thai sauce and garlic, and bring to a boil. Whisk to get rid of the lumps as you heat.
~Cook udon noodles according to package instructions (or if they just need heated like mine, skip this step and place the noodles directly into the hot sauce and heat there.)
~Place noodles into sauce mixture and heat on low until mixture is heated through.
~Meanwhile, heat a wok and place part of the remaining oil into the hot wok. Add your carrots and stir-fry for ~30 seconds.
~Add the onions to the carrots and fry until they begin to soften.
~Next add in the mushrooms. After a quick stir, add in the cabbage. Keep on the heat until everything has just started to soften, then remove from the heat.
~Heat a frying pan, and add in the remaining olive oil. When oil is hot, cook your meat until it is cooked through.
~Transfer meat and vegetables into the noodle and sauce mixture and stir to combine.
~Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds if desired.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)