In the kitchen: peanuts and pork

Having managed to go a whole week without cooking pasta, I had to remedy the situation. I recently acquired Molly Baz’s book Cook This Book, and have already made the pork and lentil ragu which we enjoyed (see March’s What’s On Your Plate post). One dish that particularly appealed was the Peanutty Pork Noodles with Crunchy Celery, so decided that since we were back on the pasta this week, that this would be a good thing to cook midweek.

[Aside…..and here I am hoping that my readers in the US can help me out. The recipe calls for linguine or pappardelle, which is pasta, but the dish is called ‘noodles’ and I have heard American chefs saying things like ‘put the pasta into the boiling water, and when the noodles are done….’. I use pasta for pasta, and noodles for eg rice noodles, soba noodles etc and of course although they are the same basic idea, pasta and noodles are not the same].

Anyway, you make the sauce first from garlic, freshly grated ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and sriracha. I have a low tolerance for hot foods these days, and used a very mild spicy sauce instead (the 3 tablespoons of sriracha suggested would have been a very bad idea….). You then cook the meat, adding in the garlic and ginger,

While the pasta or noodles are cooking, slice the celery thinly on the bias to form nice shapes as you can kind of see below. I guess if you don’t like celery you could substitute something like capsicum for the crunch.

Once the pasta or noodles are cooked, scoop out a good quantity of the cooking water, then combine this with the meat, pasta and celery and stir until all mixed well. I garnished mine with some coriander that had to be used up.

Verdict: really good, but mine looked nothing like the red dish in the book – no doubt because of the sauce used. It was salty, tangy and just a bit spicy, crunchy, comforting and full of flavour.

Would I make again? Definitely.

If you are interested in the dish, then do check out the video on YouTube to see her technique of cooking the meat and slicing the celery.

Apologies for the quality of the pictures…it was dark by the time I served dinner!

Thistles and Kiwis is a Wellington, New Zealand based blog written by Barbara, who likes cats, summer, good food and pretends to garden.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis. If you want to get in touch, email me on or


  1. I agree I use pasta for pasta and noodles for noodles. I once tried replacing pasta for a noodle dish and it wasn’t good. So I’m sorry I can’t help there. Your dish looks delicious I will definitely try it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Spicy or not, that sauce sounds wonderful. Peanut sauce is a favorite at our house, and I make a similar recipe almost every week. As for noodles vs. pasta…in my little world, noodles are reserved for egg noodles, ramen, and things like that. Pasta for most everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would call egg noodles noodles, but pasta, I even call it by type, like “I’m cooking the cooking spaghetti (or linguine) now.: Hmm. I could see it, I guess. Might be a regional thing. Do we know where Ms Baz is from? Dr, Google says that the UK only uses the word noodle to refer to east asian type noodles. What do ou call egg noodles hat you might pour stroganoff over?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I certainly would only use ‘noodle’ for East Asian type noodles, and pasta just pasta. I would pour stroganoff over something like pappardelle, but I wouldn’t call them ‘egg noodles’. Maybe we are now getting into discovering the root of all of this…?? Ms Baz is from New York, and I notice Ina Garten does the same and she is also from New York….maybe another clue? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It sounds good. Sriracha has been unavailable for months here due to a pepper shortage. The versions we do have just aren’t the same. —cheers


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