Thursday, June 24, 2010

West Meets East

Horace Greeley, Founder of the Republican Party

Horace Greeley is credited with originating the advice, “Go West, young man…“  In 1976 I would go West and discover the East.  Prior to that my only exposure to Asian food was a dinner at the sole Chinese Restaurant in Memphis in 1967, Joy Jeung’s.  I had Egg Foo Yung, hardly an authentic Asian dish.  Happily geography and history would conspire to expose me to the sublime cuisine of the Orient.  In 1976, my employer, the US Immigration & Naturalization Service, would move me from New York to San Francisco to deal with the refugees from South Vietnam.  I would spend the next two years out in the refugee neighborhoods meeting exotic people and eating exotic food.

One of the dishes I fell in love with had an amazingly American ingredient, peanut butter.  It was a cold noodle salad, dressed with a spicy, peanut butter sauce.  I have since used that sauce in a variety of ways.  Here’s a version to accompany grilled pork or chicken.


  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • ½ cup smooth Jif Peanut Butter
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 scallions chopped
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, stems removed, chopped
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup carrot cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ cup shredded cabbage
  • Chopped peanuts
  1. Boil spaghetti as per package directions, drain, and cool to room temperature.
  2. Blend next six ingredients together until smooth.
  3. Toss spaghetti with remaining ingredients, add sauce, and toss again.
  4. Garnish with chopped peanuts 

1 comment:

  1. Did you pick out this picture because he looks a lot like you, or was that just coincidence?