Don’t have udon? Try spaghetti in this `Asian noodle’ dish

With bold, exciting flavors and speedy cooking, savory Asian noodles are ideal for weeknight meals. But what happens if all you have in the pantry is spaghetti? No problem.

Though the dish won’t be traditional, Italian noodles can make a good stand-in for Asian noodles if that’s what you have on hand. All you need are a few heavy-hitting pantry staples to strike the right balance of sweet, savory, salty and umami.

For this recipe from our book “Cook What You Have,” which draws on pantry staples to assemble easy, weeknight meals, you can use udon noodles if you have them, but spaghetti or fettuccine will work just fine, too.

Since we were throwing tradition out the window anyway, we decided to blend the meatiness of Sichuan dan dan mian, or spicy noodles with ground pork, with the simplicity of peanut noodles. Whisking together soy sauce, peanut butter and oyster sauce (or hoisin) creates a rich, savory sauce loaded with umami, and the creaminess of the peanut butter helps it cling to the noodles.

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