Pasta with Chinese veggies and thinly sliced pork tenderloin in a spicy peanut butter sauce. A Desperation Dinner made with ingredients you have on hand.
My Secret Recipe Club blog this month is Crumb. Isabelle’s focus on Crumb is cooking delicious meals from scratch using fresh ingredients. One of her most popular recipes is Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles, one of her “Desperation Dinners.”
Over the years, I’ve collected a handful of recipes that I refer to as Desperation Dinners – dishes meant for those days when I get home after a yucky day at the office and just want to get the cooking over with so I can crash on the couch for a three-hour dose of mind-numbing reality TV, or when I can’t muster up the energy to go to the grocery store for ingredients. They’re quick, they’re simple, and they require nothing that isn’t already in my pantry or freezer.
I’m often in need of a Desperation Dinner, so this recipe was the perfect fit for me. I changed up the ingredients a little bit to use what I had on hand. Isabelle said these noodles are also quite good with nothing more than noodles, sauce and a sprinkling of green onions.
The pork tenderloin was a wonderful addition to this recipe. I’ve never used it in a stir fry before and it was so tender and delicious, I will definitely be using it again in the future. When I make this recipe again, I’ll use the sauce from my Chicken Satay Noodle Salad post because I liked it just a little bit better.
Next time you’re in need of a Desperation Dinner, give this one a try.
- 2 packages Top Ramen Noodles
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
- 1 cup finely julienned carrots
- 1 cup frozen sugar snap peas
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (chunky, if possible)
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 14 oz. can fancy mixed Chinese vegetables
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- Chopped green onions
- Chopped roasted peanuts
- Cook noodles in water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a wok or large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and hot pepper, and stir fry for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add pork strips. Continue stir frying for 4 minutes, until the pork is browned on all sides. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a small bowl.
- Add the remaining tbsp oil to the pan, then add carrots and snow peas. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp. Transfer to the same bowl as the pork.
- Add peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and water to the pan, and cook for a minute or two until the peanut butter melts into a smooth sauce (if the sauce looks too thick or sticky, add a tablespoon or two of water at a time until it loosens up to the desired consistency). Add Chinese vegetables, cooked noodles, and cook for 1-2 minutes to warm through.
- Remove from heat. Stir in the reserved pork and vegetables along with chopped green onions, and toss until evenly coated with sauce. Serve hot with a sprinkling of green onions and roasted peanuts.