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Cook It Light

Saucy Noodle Dish High on Spice, Not Fat

February 02, 1989|JEANNE JONES | Jones is a food consultant and a cookbook author.

On Feb. 6 the Chinese New Year will begin. We will bid farewell to the Year of the Dragon and toast to a happy and prosperous Year of the Serpent. The Chinese New Year offers a wonderful opportunity for all of us to celebrate with our families and friends and, of course, to serve Chinese food.

My own favorite Chinese dish for parties is Sichuan Noodles With Peanut Sauce. Unlike so many Chinese dishes that have to be prepared just before serving, this one can be prepared ahead of time.

Sichuan food is traditionally hot and spicy. To help control the calories from fat in this unusual dish, I have used a dark sesame oil to achieve maximum flavor for the calories consumed. If you would prefer a hotter sauce, add a bit more crushed red pepper; but remember, a little bit goes a long way.

SICHUAN NOODLES WITH PEANUT SAUCE

10 ounces dry Oriental-style noodles

1 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

1 cup Sichuan Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup julienned green onion tops

4 chive flowers, optional

Cook noodles al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again thoroughly.

Combine noodles and sesame oil and toss. Refrigerate until cold.

To serve, place 1 cup noodles on each plate. Pour 1/4 cup Sichuan Peanut Sauce over top. Arrange 2 tablespoons julienned green onion tops on top of each serving. Top each with chive flower. Makes 4 (1 1/4-cup) servings.

Sichuan Peanut Sauce

6 tablespoons non-homogenized peanut butter

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

Combine peanut butter, yogurt, sugar, soy sauce, oil, garlic and pepper flakes in blender container and blend until smooth. Refrigerate in tightly covered container. Makes 1 cup.

Each serving contains approximately:

Calories: 354

Cholesterol: 1 mg

Fat: 13 gm

Sodium: 78 mg

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