Tag Archives: peanut butter

Spicy Pork and Oyster Sauce Noodles

This simplified version of Sichuan spicy pork noodles starts with the fiery, savory sauce that is the hallmark of dan dan mian. To have a bit more body, something that would help it truly cling to and coat the noodles, Milk Street found the answer in another simple classic—peanut butter.

This is pulled off with a few key high-impact condiments: Soy sauce adds fermented depth in addition to salinity, while oyster sauce packs a sweet-savory punch. Whisking them together with peanut butter creates a luscious, creamy sauce.

The meat is sautéed with a splash of flavor-­boosting balsamic vinegar—we substituted the more traditional Chinese black vinegar—which offers a mellow acidity. For bright, complex heat, chili garlic sauce or Sriracha is added.

You can luxe up the finished dish with any number of garnishes, be it a handful of chopped peanuts, a scattering of scallions, chopped cilantro (our choices), cucumber matchsticks, or a rich, runny-yolked fried egg. Oh, and we doubled the amount of ground pork to one pound.

It was a delicious, quick weeknight meal!

Spicy Pork and Oyster Sauce Noodles

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 lb. spaghetti OR linguine OR dried udon noodles
  • 3 Tbsp. creamy OR crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, plus more if needed
  • 3 Tbsp. oyster sauce OR hoisin sauce
  • Ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 8 oz. ground pork OR turkey OR beef
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced OR 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated OR both
  • 2 Tbsp. Chinese black vinegar OR balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. chili-garlic sauce OR 1½ Tbsp. Sriracha sauce OR ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Optional garnish: Chopped roasted peanuts OR chili oil OR cucumber matchsticks OR toasted sesame oil OR thinly sliced scallions OR a combination


  1. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Reserve ½ cup of the hot water. Add the pasta to the pot, then cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. When the pasta is done, drain; set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, oyster sauce, ½ teaspoon pepper and the reserved water.
  3. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the pork and cook, breaking the meat into little bits, until no longer pink, 1 to 1½ minutes. Add the garlic, vinegar and chili-garlic sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until the pork is browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the peanut butter mixture, followed by the pasta. Cook, stirring and tossing with tongs, until the pasta is shiny and the sauce clings, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Off heat, taste and season with additional soy sauce and black pepper.


Adapted from a recipe by Courtney Hill for Milk Street

Rotini with Ground Pork and Spicy Peanut Sauce

Chitalian Fusion is what we dubbed this pairing of satay like flavors with pasta and green herbs. Flavorful, but not too hot. You may not expect bright, Asian-inspired flavors to be paired with Italian rotini pasta, but it’s a great choice for holding onto the sauce. Like Pad Thai, although easier to eat than with the long noodles—yet where are the veggies?

My initial issue was the overall drab color of the dish. Cooked pork, with regular pasta, peanut butter and scallions—where’s the color? So I started with tri-colored rotini, and added snow peas and three small, different colored baby bell peppers. Now it was a fiesta on a plate, visually appealing enough to want to dive in.

Rotini with Ground Pork and Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. tri-colored rotini
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 8 oz. snow peas, strings removed, cut in half on a diagonal
  • 3 baby bell peppers, stems removed, seeded, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4″ strips
  • 6 medium scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. sambal oelek or other Asian chile paste; more to taste
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter, preferably natural
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 medium lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro as garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rotini and cook according to package directions until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, when hot toss in the snow peas and bell pepper strips. Cook about 2 minutes and remove to another dish.
  3. Add the scallion whites to the hot pan. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.
  5. Crumble in the pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until it loses its pink color, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, sambal oelek, and sugar and cook until bubbling. Add the peanut butter and stir until incorporated.
  7. Pour in the broth, stir well, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta. Add the pasta and the snow pea mix to the pork and scallions.
  9. Thin the sauce with the pasta water, if necessary. Divide among plates or bowls, squeeze a lime wedge over each serving, and top with cilantro.


Adapted from a recipe by Bruce Weinstein, Mark Scarbrough from Fine Cooking