Lo mein with Thai coconut-peanut sauce

FreeImages.com/Patrick Moore

Makes 4 servings

Be sure to use pure natural peanut butter without added sugar. Then make this creamy sauce mildly spicy or decidedly zesty, depending on the amount of red pepper flakes you choose to add. You'll find the lo mein noodles and coconut milk in Asian markets, as well as in the ethnic section of many supermarkets.

8 ounces lo mein noodles

For the sauce

1 cup canned low-fat coconut milk
½ cup smooth peanut butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Dash of salt, or to taste
¼ cup fresh lime juiceTo complete the recipe
1 cup snow peas, blanched; remove and discard stems and strings, then blanch
½ cup minced red bell pepper
2 medium scallions, coarsely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste
Finely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, lime wedges, and sprigs of fresh cilantro for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat; add the noodles. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the noodles. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until al dente, about 3 to 4 minutes, or according to package instructions.

While the noodles are cooking, combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat; stir until the sauce is creamy and smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in the lime juice.

When the noodles are done, drain well; return to the pot. Add the peanut sauce and toss. Add the remaining ingredients; toss over medium heat just until heated through. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

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