Cooking: Peanut Noodle Salad & Creamy Corn Soup

•October 3, 2009 • 1 Comment

Preparation time: 30-40 minutes
Serves: 4-5

With cooler weather quickly approaching, what better way to remember those last summer days than with a refreshing peanut noodle salad? Alongside of it, we introduce a heart-warming, creamy corn soup for a nice contrast. Most of these ingredients should be common enough that you already have them on hand. If not, they are all relatively cheap, with the most expensive ingredient being the soba noodles.

Peanut Noodle Salad
– 8oz. soba noodles
– 3/4 cup peanut butter
– 1 cucumber, shredded
– 12oz. firm tofu, diced
– 1/4 of an onion, shredded
– 3  garlic cloves, minced
– 1/2 cup peanuts
– 1/2  cup rice wine vinegar (we substituted with balsamic vinegar)
– 1  teaspoon  sesame oil
– 1/2  teaspoon  salt
– hot water

Soup
– 14oz. canned creamy corn
– 150z. canned shitake mushrooms, shredded (can be added to noodles)
– 6oz. canned bamboo shoots, shredded (can be added to noodles)
– 1/2 cup milk
– 14oz. water
– 2 eggs
– pepper, as needed
– salt, as needed

Start off by following the directions on the back of the soba noodles package. When they are fully cooked, run the noodles under cold water and then drain them.

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Canned foods serve as convenient ingredients for just about anyone, but especially cheap, lazy college students. There is still some preparation involved, however. The shitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots are predominantly for the soup, but can also be added into the noodles. Shred the mushrooms and bamboo up.

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Shred up 1 cucumber, 1/4 of an onion and dice up the (firm)tofu, as well. Also, mince the garlic cloves.

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Heat up a little bit of oil in a skillet and throw in the minced garlic first. Then throw in the onions, some of the mushrooms and some of the bamboo shoots. Make sure there are mushrooms and bamboo shoots left for the soup. Sautee them till they appear fully cooked and add some salt as necessary. When finished, set it aside for the noodles later.

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For the soup, pour the creamy corn into a pot and add water, mushrooms, bamboo, milk and eggs. Cook until finished and add salt and pepper as needed. Simple, right?

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Now for the peanut sauce, mix the peanut butter, vinegar, sesame oil and minced garlic together. Slowly mix in hot water until you get the consistency you desire. This may take a little bit of time and arm muscles.

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Don’t be alarmed if your sauce comes out looking like this. Because oil was mixed into something water-based, you will inevitably see some separation between the oil and water.

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Stir in peanut sauce, sauteed mushrooms and bamboo, shredded cucumber and peanuts!

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The whole preparation of this meal took about 40 minutes for 2 college students, who somewhat knew what they’re doing. The beauty of this dish is that it is very open-ended. Many vegetable substitutes such as asparagus, carrots, and peppers can easily make this dish much more colorful and possibly more delicious! For the spicy lovers, you can also add pepper flakes into your peanut sauce. Lastly, you can easily make a huge pot of this, throw leftovers in the fridge, and just eat it cold!

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Restaurant Review: Yummy Sushi: Dinner

•October 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Yummy Sushi

YUMMY SUSHI
1400 Parkway Ave # A3
Ewing, NJ 08628-3021
(609) 883-8818

Price: $-$$

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Yummy Sushi is a family-owned restaurant tucked away in the corner of a strip mall. The ambiance is soft and relaxing and service is friendly and courteous. Service may be slow sometimes because there is only one waitress, the mother, rushing about. Also, there are usually 3 little girls running around, with the youngest one occasionally screaming or crying, so be warned if you are intolerant of such noises.

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Their rolls are not cheap but come decently sized and fresh. The spicy tuna roll was generously stuffed with fish and the dragon roll was beautifully presented.

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Two of my friends ordered the nabeyaki udon but didn’t feel too strongly about this dish. One of them commented that it was a bit lacking in flavor. Props to the presentation, though.

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Aside from Japanese food, they also have a small specials section, which features some vietnamnese cuisine. Pho is a relatively safe choice. It comes cheap, filling and delicious. The only criticism one of my friends had was that the beef was slightly overdone.

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I ordered their curry chicken, which I thought was great. The chunks of chicken are tender and plentiful, mixed in with some potatoes and the curry seems to have coconut milk added in. Plus points there.

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Another one of my friends ordered the katsudon, but due to some confusion, she received just a katsu dish. She remarked that the chicken was alright, but she found the katsu sauce to be too sour, which I agreed with. I’m not sure what genuine katsu sauce should taste like, but I’m pretty sure that it’s supposed to be kind of sweet and tangy, which this sauce was not.

Overall, the portions are quite large, as 4 out of 6 of us brought leftovers home. I’ve been here 3 times, but only out of convenience. Otherwise, I don’t particularly consider this place to be memorable…but it’s nice. Depending on what you get, you can walk away with a meal as cheap as $9, tax included. Many of their entrees are over $10, however.