Spicy Peanut Noodles in Cucumber Cups
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 3/4-inch piece ginger, peeled and halved
- 3 teaspoons red-chile paste
- 1/2 cup best-quality smooth peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 6 ounces vermicelli, or capellini
- 3 1/2 Japanese, or 6 Kirby cucumbers, peeled
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
In a food processor, pulse garlic and ginger until finely chopped. Add chile paste, peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, peanut oil, lime juice, and 4 tablespoons water; puree until smooth. Set aside.
Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles; cook until al dente, following label directions. Drain in a colander; rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, toss noodles with 1 cup peanut sauce. Set aside.
Cut cucumbers into thirty-six 3/4-inch rounds; scoop out the seeds with a melon baller, forming deep cups. Dab some peanut sauce on the bottom of a cucumber cup. Using a small cocktail fork, twirl a few noodles together, and place in cup. Garnish with chopped peanuts and scallions. Repeat with remaining cucumber cups.