Cultured Peanut Sauce with veggies and noodles

I was once a decidedly BAD cook. I tried. I made raviolis from scratch! They sucked and we had to go out to eat. Then I found a book called On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee. It was all about the science behind food and what makes it good. I was pretty fascinated by this, though I will admit, the only thing I still remember (I checked it out from the library five years ago) is the five flavors rule. When you are cooking, you gotta understand the six flavors-sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter, and umami. Each of the flavors has its inverse operator. Here’s a nifty chart to help. Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 7.50.52 PM

(from cooksmarts.com)

This idea saved my cooking. I didn’t suddenly become good at ravioli (I tried them again literally two days ago and we ended up ordering out) but I did begin to understand what makes food taste good, once I started tasting things and trying to understand what they needed to become balanced. This recipe is going to need a little of that adventurous spirit on your part!! Don’t worry, it’s hard to go wrong with these ingredients:

  • some peanut milk cheese (umami and sour)
  • sriratcha (spicy! and sour)
  • maple syrup (sweet)
  • garlic (bitter)
  • salt (duh)
  • veggies of choice (I used onion, corn, red pepper, and broccoli)
  • noodles of choice (I used my favorite Lotus pad thai noodles)
  1. This is the peanut cheese. If you’re making this from scratch, just don’t drip the peanut protein out as much. Drip it out until it is a nice saucy texture. If you’ve already made the cheese, mix in sriratcha to taste, four tablespoons of non-dairy yogurt (or 2 T non-dairy milk if you don’t have any yogurt), two-three tablespoons of maple syrup, and salt (start slow, like 1/4 teaspoon, and move up from there SLOWLY. Understand that things will get saltier as the salt dissolves, so wait before you add more salt. Salt is my nemesis.)  Taste it a million times and start to try to understand what it wants to be good and balanced! It’s fun, once you get the hang of it.

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This is the peanut cheese. ^

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  1. Ingredients whisked in.  ^

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2. Don’t forget the maple syrup! Its super important to balance out the double sours from peanut cheese culture and the sriratcha vinegar.

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3. Steam or stir fry your veggies.

4. Cook up your noodles. I love these. 

5. I usually cook up a little tofu too.

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