Spicy Peanut Sesame Noodles

A recipe from one of those Joy of Cooking desk calendars.

1 C peanut butter
1/4 C rice vinegar or white vinegar
2 T soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 chile pepper, seeded and minced OR 1 tsp cayenne or chile flakes
1 tsp chili oil (optional)
1 1/2 T sugar or honey
1/4 C toasted sesame oil
1/2 C freshly brewed black tea

Noodles & Toppings
1 pound noodles (spaghetti or Chinese egg noodles)
4 C shredded cooked chicken OR julienned firm tofu
Peeled, seeded julienned cucumber
Chopped cilantro
Coarsely chopped peanuts
Julienned carrots
Chopped green onions
Combine the sauce ingredients. If you want it really smooth, you can process it in your food processor or blender.

Boil and drain the noodles. Serve at room temperature.

What's pretty is when you display each topping ingredient in a separate bowl. Serve the noodles and let your guests build their plate. This is how Cristal Chen did it once and it was so yummy and fun and colorful!!

6-8 First-course or 4 main-course servings, adapted from Joy of Cooking

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