Imagine a table of diners, each enthusiastically poking through a mass of pasta, looking for the longest noodle. That’s the typical scene when my family and friends come together for Long Life Noodles.
Predicting a Long Life
Long before this dish became a New Year custom in my home, Longevity noodles (aka Long Life Noodles) were a traditional meal served for the Chinese New Year. The goal for this meal is to eat the pasta without cutting through the strands, thus ensuring a long life.
Live long and prosper.Mr. Spock
Perfect for a large group, this recipe can accommodate a variety of food preferences. Everyone builds their own bowl of Long Life Noodles from the assorted toppings. I usually make the pasta and sauce – doubling or tripling the amounts for a crowd. Often I assign a topping for each guest to bring, which lightens the workload.
While this recipe is vegetarian, you can add shredded chicken for the carnivores in your life. I’ve also added sautéed mushrooms or zucchini, steamed asparagus and microgreens for a garnish.
To make this recipe gluten free, offer gluten free pasta and replace the soy sauce with tamari. If you have peanut allergies in the group, this sauce is equally delicious made with sesame tahini instead of peanut butter.
A fabulous meal to celebrate the new year or a birthday with friends. Ask each guest to bring one topping to lighten the work. The larger the group, the more toppings – get creative. The long noodles symbolize the promise of long life!
- 16- ounce package dry spaghetti
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 eggs beaten
- 2 cups julienned fresh spinach
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 4 green onions diagonally sliced
- 1 cup snow peas
- 1 cucumber cut into quarters, seeded (optional)
- 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 green onions sliced
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Allow the excess moisture to drain, place the pasta in a serving bowl and then toss with sesame oil.
While the pasta cooks, prepare the toppings. Steam the snow peas in a steamer until tender; drain and slice into strips.
Spray a small skillet with cooking spray. Heat the skillet then pour the eggs into the pan, tilting to cover the bottom to form a thin pancake. Cook over medium heat until firm, turning once; do not stir. Invert onto a plate. Cut the egg pancake into thin strips.
Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a blender or use an immersion blender. Process until smooth.
To serve, portion pasta onto each plate. Everyone adds the desired toppings to their pasta and then drizzles peanut sauce over the top.
Adapted from the Colorado Dietetic Association’s cookbook, The Best of Simply Colorado Cookbook, 2006.