My Facebook profile lists me as a New Yorker. OK – I’m originally from upstate New York, not Manhattan. But I feel like I’m a native of the city. And one of my all time local favorites is sesame cold noodles with peanut sauce. It ranks in my top 5 comfort foods of all times.
New York cold noodles
If you don’t know, they sell cold noodles with peanut sauce at every hole in the wall Chinese restaurant in New York. You can find one on almost every block. And for a pretty reasonable price, you get a heaping pile of decadent noodles. It’s truly a treat.
I love the coolness of the dish. The rich peanut flavor. And the comfort of all those piles and piles of noodles. There’s nothing better than a good carb load after a super stressful day. Am I right?
But these days I do try to keep my carb indulgences to a minimum. You know, I’m kind of into that whole ‘trying to eat healthy’ thing. But the one thing I promised myself when I cleaned up my diet is that I wouldn’t lead a life of deprivation.
So I took on the challenge of finding better quality versions of some of my favorites. And these healthier Asian kelp noodles with peanut sauce are such a great treat. They taste like everything I love about the comfort food variety and deliver it in a cleaner, more nutritious package.
Getting that noodle flavor with kelp noodles
The biggest trick to these noodles with peanut sauce is that that are much lower in carbohydrates. And these are much higher in fiber. These are the good kind of carbs that help you lose weight and keep you healthier.
However, kelp noodles have quite a different texture than wheat or rice noodles. They’re much harder, and maybe a little more rubbery. But I have a trick for transforming their texture to one pretty close to regular noodles. If you do this, you can easily disguise your kelp noodles for regular ones.
I make this dish at least 4 hours before I serve it. That way the kelp noodles have time to marinate in the sauce. And as they soak, they naturally soften. After a 4 hour soak, they taste so similar to the real thing.
Because you serve these cold, letting them sit doesn’t cause any problems with reheating. Of course, you’ll want to eat it the moment you make it. But it will be soooo worth it if you just sit back, and let them get even better.
Simplify the recipe
I tried to make this recipe as simple as possible. I’m tired at the end of the day. I don’t feel like messing around with cutting, chopping and blending. So I bought my vegetables pre-cut. Lazy – I know. But I”m much more likely to do it if cooking doesn’t turn into a big productions.
And since my cat destroyed my food chopper (bad kitty!), I have to throw things into the blender to mix. So I try to do as much as I can without a blender. It just makes things simpler. So I mixed my sauce by hand. Feel free to use a mixer if you choose. I just couldn’t be bothered.
Keto friendly meal option
I don’t subscribe to a specific way of eating. I’m all about maximizing the amount of healthy foods in the diet and minimizing the junk. And this fits the bill because it is a much better substitute for a less healthy comfort food.
But this dish is keto friendly, especially if you choose coconut aminos over soy sauce. It’s full of healthier fats. And it’s low in carbs. And the carbs are the good kinds of carbs from vegetables. So, I use this as a treat as part of my non-keto healthy diet. But this is also perfect if you do partake in the keto plan.