I’m heading to New York next week for three days of eating before we fly to Southeast Asia. When soliciting suggestions on where to eat, my friend Caroline recommended Budakkan and said she loved the chilled udon noodles with peanut sauce. Then she forwarded me the recipe. Then I made it. It was good.
But seriously, it was really good. I have no idea if this recipe comes close to the dish served at Budakkan – having never been there – but it doesn’t really matter when it’s this good. I’ll be making this again soon since Eric and I ate it like we’d never see food again.
As for New York, I have a short (ok, long) list of restaurants in mind. I want to eat at some classics – a Jewish deli, maybe Shake Shack – and some not-so-classic restaurants – Budakkan, perhaps? If you know of a must-try, leave it in the comments.
Udon Noodle Salad
Adapted from Caroline’s recipe, which came from her sister, which came from who-knows where. I made a couple modifications – a bit more vinegar and Sriacha – so I wrote the recipe as I made it.
For Peanut Sauce:
2 teaspoons peanut oil
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 cup water
2 tablespoons light soy sauce (I used Bragg Liquid Aminos)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2/3 cup chunky peanut butter (preferably a nice, natural peanut butter that is not loaded with sugar)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (not the fake stuff made with corn syrup)
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons Sriacha
10 oz udon noodles
1 cucumber, halved across, sliced into matchsticks
2 cups bean sprouts
1 orange or red pepper sliced into matchsticks
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
several lime wedges
In small saucepan, saute garlic and ginger in peanut oil over medium-low heat. Add the water, soy sauce, and coriander, and bring to a boil. Add peanut butter and turn heat to low. Whisk together until combined, then mix in the maple syrup, vinegar, and chile sauce. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare Udon noodles according to package instructions and then set aside. Combine noodles, sliced vegetables and sauce, with fresh squeezed fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro.