(Review by Denise)
Warning: Because this review will inevitably contain a lot of complaining (I swore I’d never make it again when I was making it), I’m going to let you know now that I’m giving “Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles” a passing grade. Check out the recipe by Crumb right here.
I was really excited to make this. I even worked it out with my man: I’d feed the kids first and he’d help put them to bed early while I cooked this for just the two of us. Dinner date on the couch! Catch up on some Walking Dead! I also get excited to eat with chopsticks because they make me feel like a rock star. I was smart, too: I chopped all the veggies ahead of time and put out all the ingredients on the countertop. I looked like I should have a cooking show.
The trouble began when I had the thought, “Don’t put the garlic in the hot oil first, because the sugars will make it burn while you’re spooning out the ginger and red pepper flakes.” Smart, no? No. Because my next thought was, “Put the ginger in first, instead.” Well hello!? They make ginger candies and cookies. I realize now that ginger has sugar in it, too. First it made the oil splatter as far as my neighbor’s roof, and then (despite turning the heat down to low while scalding my forearm in oil splatters) it burned the ginger anyway. I tried my best to spoon out the blackened ginger and only keep the remaining bits. (I had pretty much used all I had on the first go-round.) From there on out, the oil just hated me. The noodles were one big glob when I added them back to the pan (I really did oil them while they waited!) and then it took a while for the peanut butter sauce to act like a sauce. This isn’t my first stir-fry rodeo, but something here just went awry. Again I say, I looked like I should have a cooking show: America’s Worst Chef.
But despite cursing under my breath and swearing I would never make it again, something awful happened. I loved it. My man loved it. The spice was enough to require a glass of milk, but not so spicy that the flavors got lost. The peanut butter was divine. I am so excited to eat the leftovers because I know they will be even spicier. The book of Romans in the Bible talks about how showing kindness to your enemy will “heap burning coals upon his head.” This recipe’s deliciousness in spite of my bitterness heaped burning coals upon my head. Well played, Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles. Well played.
Verdict? Pass. (Remember? I already told you.) I am hoping you fall under one of two categories: 1, You never would have made my mistakes in the first place. 2, You can learn from my mistakes above.