This was a very tasty and satisfying summer dish that was surprisingly easy to make. Finding the right noodles is the key to this as some people like broader/thicker noodles and some like them a bit less substantial. In this case we used soba noodles, but we think we will play around with other types when we make this next. This comes from Hetty McKinnon in NYTimes Cooking.
For this you’ll need: 8-10 oz noodles (we used soba in this version), 1 cucumber, 1 red bell pepper, 4-5 radishes, 1/2 cup roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted, your choice), 2 scallions, 1 lime, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 2 Tbsp sesame oil, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp chili oil, 1 garlic clove (crushed or grated).
First, prepare the noodles in boiling water per the package instructions. Drain and rinse them in cold water and allow them to drain for a short time. Rise them a few more times with cold water, separating them with your fingers, as you prepare the rest of the salad, always leaving them to drain for a few minutes.
Second, make the sauce by combining peanut butter, soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, maple syrup, lime juice, chili oil and the crushed garlic in a medium bowl. Mix them together with a spoon first and then use a whisk while mixing in about 1/3 cup of water 1 Tbsp at a time until the sauce is smooth and pourable. It’ll go slow at first, but it will gradually smooth out as you add the water. Taste and adjust the chili oil or soy sauce as you see fit.
Cut the cucumber, bell pepper and radishes into 1/8″ thick disks first, and then lengthwise again to make matchstick like pieces. Place all of the cut veggies into a large serving bowl.
Add 1 Tbsp of sesame oil to the cold noodles and mix them well either in a bowl with a wooden spoon or with your hands so that everything is coated with the oil and separated. Add the noodles to the bowl with the veggies and mix together well (again, using your [clean] hands, is fine, but a wooden spoon also works). Add the peanut sauce and mix together well.
Add the peanuts, chopped scallions and squeeze the juice of the lime over the top. Enjoy.