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"To read a book about a country's cuisine isn't simply to go looking for 'good things'; it is also to better know - by means of the recipes - the customs and the richness or poverty of a place, and the spirit of those who inhabit it. It is above all, to participate in the symbolic celebration of the shared repast."

~ Ginette Olivesi-Lorenzi, La Cuisine Mentonnaise

Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking

Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking (The Savoring Series)
by Lori De Mori

Part of the Savoring Series, which is one of my favorite series of books about Regional Cuisine, Savoring Tuscany is a beautiful book filled with sumptuous recipes and delectable writing about the cuisine and culture of Tuscany. As with all the books in the series, Savoring Tuscany is put together beautifully and all of the recipes are well written and presented. The recipes that we tested were all superb and the book is an excellent source for fans of Tuscan cuisine.

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Recipe - Thai Noodles in Peanut Sauce
by Wen Zientek-Sico

Noodles tossed in a simple peanut sauce is a classic Thai recipe that we have modified to make more modern. It is quick and easy to prepare and even the kids will love it.

Alphonse Mucha - Les Saisons
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Thai Noodles in Peanut Sauce

Thai food is just one of the many ethnic cuisines that offers many unique dishes for vegans and vegetarians. This very tasty dish is very simple yet satisfying. It also happens to be a favorite among some of my much younger vegan friends. This makes an excellent dinner for a hot summer day when served with a simple salad. I only use homemade unsweetened peanut butter in my household and it does produce better results. Peanut butter without salt, sugar, and other additives is widely available on the market now and makes an admirable substitute. If you are using your everyday typical peanut butter, omit the sugar. Dry sherry can be used instead of the rice wine.

8 ounces thin spaghetti
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch chile pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 thinly sliced scallions
1 small peeled and diced cucumber

Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water until cooked. Drain and rinse under cold water. Place the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine, rice vinegar, sugar, pepper, and garlic in a food processor. Process until very smooth. Toss the noodles with the peanut sauce, scallions, and cucumbers. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Makes 4 servings.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes