A chef is a person who is a highly trained, skilled professional cook who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation of a particular cuisine.

Although my dear friend Yao-Hsuan Huang (aka: Swan) #swanskitchen wasn’t formally trained, she is proficient at cooking everything – seriously! She gets inspired and just creates magical dishes that are not only delicious, but a beautiful sensory experience. I tease her all the time and ask her to be my personal chef (I could only wish!).

She was kind enough to provide one of her favorite recipes for 3QT.

Sesame Noodles

Swan’s Inspiration: Every year I make my friend’s husband, Tom, a dish for his birthday. One year I brought him a bucket of banana pudding to a bar. Last year he requested sesame noodles. This request made me think of my mom’s liang mian (cold sesame noodle) recipe. She uses Taiwanese sesame paste. I substituted peanut butter because that is what I had on hand. I also added a bunch of veggies. You could really throw in any of your favorite vegetables. The sesame noodles were a hit and have made multiple appearances at other parties.

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Ingredients:
1 box of spaghetti (any brand- I usually buy what is on sale)
12 oz bag of sugar snap peas
1 c of vegetable oil
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1/3 lite soy sauce
3 T sesame oil
1 T agave nectar
2-4 cloves of minced garlic (depends on how garlicy you like it)
1 T grated ginger
2 T toasted sesame seeds
1/2 c smooth peanut butter
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 orange pepper, sliced thinly
1 yellow pepper, sliced thinly
5 scallions, sliced diagonally whites and greens
2 carrots, shredded
1 c cilantro
1 T toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
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Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously, so it tastes like the sea. Cook spaghetti to al dente according to package. Usually it’s 9-10 minutes. During the last 3 minutes the pasta is cooking, throw in the sugar snap peas. They should stay floating on the top. After 3 minutes use a slotted spoon to transfer the sugar snap peas to a bowl of ice water. You want to shock them so they stop cooking and retain their color and crunch. After they are cooled slice then diagonally.
2. While the pasta is cooking whisk together the vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, lite soy sauce, sesame oil, agave nectar, garlic cloves, grated ginger, 2T toasted sesame seeds and peanut butter. This is the sauce.
3. Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce.
4. Toss in all the peppers, scallions, carrots, sugar snap peas, and cilantro.
5. Garnish with 1 T of toasted sesame seeds at the end.
6. Enjoy!