Here’s the thing: everyone’s really hung up on peanut butter + jelly being the iconic duo but my friends, “everyone” is wrong. Peanut butter’s true partner-in-crime is chili oil.
This dish is inspired by one of my favorite dishes at one of my favorite restaurants in NYC: the peanut butter chili oil wontons from Deluxe Green Bo in Chinatown (ps: support Chinatown and order some takeout if you live in NYC!). The pork wontons are juicy and delicious but the sweet, nutty and spicy sauce is what really steals the show. I recreated a VERY simple version using fresh udon noodles because that’s what I had on hand but you could totally use ramen noodles, spaghetti, whatever. You guys know I don’t get too picky because we use what we’ve got around here. So without further ado, shall we?
Makes 2 servings
What you need
~12 oz fresh udon noodles (a lot of times these come in a package with 3 air-sealed noodle packs - I used 2 of those packs! Here’s an example).
3-4 tbsp creamy peanut butter (salted)
2 tbsp chili oil (I used Mom’s Mala Sichuan Oil) + more for garnish
1/4 cup hot water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp black vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
Sliced scallions for garnish
2 egg yolks for garnish
Hot sesame oil for garnish (optional)
What you do
Boil the udon noodles according to directions, taking care not to overcook them. Drain the noods and immediately rinse with very cold water (this stops the cooking process which is key if you don’t want to end up with mushy udon noodles). My noodles came with soup base which I chose to save for a rainy day (aka don’t use the soup base).
Add the 1/4 cup of hot water to a mixing bowl, then add in the sugar and stir it around until it dissolves. Add peanut butter, chili oil, soy sauce, and black vinegar. Mix everything together until you’re left with a smooth sauce.
Next up, add the udon noodles. Stir until all the noodles are evenly sauced, then plate into 2 bowls. Garnish each bowl with an egg yolk, sliced scallions, and more chili oil. I also like to add some hot sesame oil here because it’s a different kind of spicy and tastes awesome but you can choose your own adventure.