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Peanut Noodles

½ lb (250 g) dry noodles or spaghetti
½ cup (4 oz; 120 g) crunchy peanut butter
dark or light soy sauce
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce, or garlic-chilli sauce
¼ cup (2 oz; 60 ml) tahini or sesame oil
½ cup (120 ml) hot tea
1 clove pressed garlic, 2 tsp grated ginger
two scallions (spring onions),
optional garnish: cucumber or alfalfa sprouts (as available)

Japanese soba (buckwheat) noodles work well, but you can use any noodles or spaghetti.

Cook the noodles al dente; blanch under cold water, drain and toss with a little sesame oil.

At this point you can cover the sauce and noodles and keep then in a cool place until ready to serve.

Mix soy sauce, chilli sauce and sesame oil with peanut butter. Gradually add the hot tea, mixing as you go; the oil will emulsify. Mix in garlic and ginger.

Tamari-toasted sesame seeds, ground in a suribachi, go well to finish the dish for a special occasion. Quick-fried slivers of chicken breast add protein, if this seems too vegan.

Slice the cucumber en julienne (into matchsticks), and the scallions finely on the diagonal.

Miso or a little marmite can be used in place of soy sauce, as a variation.

Toss the noodles with peanut sauce and scallion. Garnish and serve.

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