Cold sesame noodles are a wonderful lunch or dinner for summer. This recipe is modified only nominally from Diana Kuan’s blog: Appetite for China. Any egg noodles will do for this recipe: I bet you ramen noodles do too (just throw away the flavor packet). The original recipe even proposes spaghetti, but nah…
8 oz egg noodles (the original recipe calls for 12 oz)
2 tablespoons peanut/vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 cucumber, peeled and julienned (or grated in the food processor)
2 carrots, peeled and julienned (or grated in the food processor)
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
cilantro for garnish, optional
3 tablespoons Japanese sesame paste (the original recipe calls for Chinese sesame paste- I have no idea what this is, but I always have Japanese sesame paste on hand. The original recipe proposes 3 tablespoons tahini with an extra teaspoon of sesame oil as an alternative)
2 tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chili paste (I used Maggi Asian chili garlic sauce)
2 tablespoons sugar (if your chili paste has sugar, you will want to take this down some)
½ teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper (optional)
- Cook noodles for the minimum amount of time suggested on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with a tbs of oil and set aside.
- Heat the other tablespoon of oil in a small pan over medium heat. Gently cook the minced garlic and grated ginger until just fragrant, about 30 to 40 seconds. Set aside.
- Prepare the sauce: In a medium bowl, combine the sesame paste, peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili paste, sugar, and Sichuan pepper, if using. Add 3 tbs of water and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the cooked garlic and ginger.
- Pour the sauce over the noodles, add the cucumbers and carrots, and toss. Transfer to large bowl or deep serving dish and sprinkle the sesame seeds, scallions and cilantro on top. You can serve the sesame noodles at room temperature or chill in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours before serving. To me, they taste better chilled.