Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Vegan, Vegetarian

Oogling over Spicy, Peanutty Udon


Peanut noodles are never a bad idea. I really wanted take out on Sunday after a Saturday night of debauchery, but decided it was 1) expensive, 2) too long to wait 60-75 min and 3) unhealthy. Instead, I pulled up my Pinterest, checked what’s in my pantry and settled on making homemade Spicy Peanut & Kale Udon Noodles. This satisfied my gluten and takeout craving, while packed nutrients from the kale and sweet potato. The cucumbers and scallions add a nice, hearty crunch, since I didn’t have any chopped peanuts on hand. Overall, this came together quite well, and I’m so happy  I used up my fridge and pantry arsenal versus ordering take out. Plus, it’s just that much more satisfying when you make it yourself. I think this is when the phrase “better than takeout” comes into play. . .

Ingredients (serves 2).

For the Spicy Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/2 t sesame oil
  • 2 t reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 t sriracha
  • 1/8 t fish sauce (omit if vegan, but it does add a nice, umami tang)
  • 3 T PB2 combined (or 2 T regular peanut butter) *
  • 3 T reserved pasta water

For the Noodles:

  • 3 oz. udon noodles
  • 1 t light olive oil or coconut oil
  • 6-8 kale leaves, washed, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2 sweet potato, cooked and diced
  • 1 mini cucumber, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped

* NOTE: I liked using PB2 (a powdered peanut butter) since it has a milder peanut flavor and contains less calories, fat and sugar. (Here’s a comparison of PB2 to regular peanut butter.) I think natural peanut butter’s flavor is sometimes overpowering, so this was is a great swap for me.


  1. Cook udon noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a wok over medium low heat, add oil, sweet potato and kale. Sauté until kale is tender and sweet potatoes just begin to brown. Remove from heat and transfer to bowl/plate.
  3. In the same wok, add sesame oil through fish sauce over low heat and mix well. Stir in peanut butter (PB2 mixed with warm water or regular peanut butter). Thin sauce with reserved pasta water. Using tongs, mix in noodles, kale and sweet potato with sauce until well distributed and noodles are covered. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in cucumbers and chopped scallions.
  5. Divide into two dishes and enjoy!

Adapted from Food 52‘s “Spicy, Peanut Udon with Kale.”


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