Despite being a “food columnist,” I have to admit that a lot of my tastes are fairly, well, childish.
For rare meals where I’m eating on my own, I’m likely to give in to my cravings for a serving of box macaroni and cheese or a bowl of cereal, or even more likely, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
I’m guessing we go through a lot more peanut butter than households that don’t have toddlers in them normally do. Regardless of its simplicity, though, I just can’t get enough.
That also means that I’m often scraping the last dregs of peanut butter out of the bottom of a jar. This week, though, I learned that I don’t need to scrape any more. I have a recipe to use all the last bits. And, boy, is it good.
This comes from the blog “Crunch Time Kitchen” by Nick Evans. You can find the original post at https://www.crunchtimekitchen.com/jar-scraps-peanut-butter-noodles/. I added extra garlic and chili crisp in my version.
Peanut Butter Noodles
- 2-3 tablespoons peanut butter creamy or crunchy
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon chili crisp
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 packet ramen seasoning or 1 bullion cube
- 1 packet ramen or other Asian-style noodles I used udon
- green onions/scallions for garnish
- chopped peanuts for garnish
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Begin by cooking your noodles according to package directions (minus the seasoning). Save back about 1/3 cup of the pasta water when you drain the noodles.
- In your mostly empty peanut butter jar or just a bowl with about two tablespoons peanut butter in it, add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, chili crisp, honey, sesame oil and seasoning, along with the 1/3 cup of hot pasta water.
- If you’re using the jar, put the lid on and shake to combine the ingredients. Otherwise, use a fork or whisk to thoroughly combine everything.
- The sauce will thicken up a bit as it cools, but if it’s really thin, add just a bit more peanut butter until it’s closer to what you like.
- Toss the noodles with the sauce, and garnish with green onions, peanuts and sesame seeds.
- I ended up doubling the recipe and cooked some popcorn chicken to throw into the mix, as well. That made for a very satisfying meal.
This was absolutely delicious, and not only was I excited to use up the last bits of peanut butter in a nearly empty jar in the pantry, but I also finally opened a jar of chili crisp I impulse bought a few weeks ago. (Side note: that stuff is fabulous.)
If you haven’t dabbled in savory peanut butter dishes, this is a quick and easy one to start with, and I highly recommend it.
Plus, it gives me a grown-up reason to go through even more peanut butter. The fact that 90 percent of the jar is designated for a kids’ favorite is irrelevant. After all, I actually eat my crusts.
This piece first appeared in print on Dec. 14, 2023.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.