When I was in high school I worked in a deli – sort of a high end deli, which at the time was novel. They also had whole coffee beans and other bits that were considered specialty items. Ahead of their time, they were and I was the fortunate recipient of one of their best benefits – take home chow. When a dish had outlasted its usefulness – not spoiled, but not enough to save, I got to take it home. And so began my love affair with sesame noodles.
If you’ve not tried them you are really missing out. A perfect alternative to traditional picnic fare or a super side if you’ve got an Asian thing going. I love them so much I used them as the main event and was oh so happy to do so. I have tried for years to create sesame noodles I was happy with. I finally found them – with a few tweaks to this recipe.
If you’re having an unusually warm October, or if you just like cold sesame noodles, I’d suggest you give this one a go. If you need a gluten free option, I’d suggest you use soba noodles to make this even yummier.
Cold Sesame Noodles
- 1 lb noodles (I used 100% whole wheat, but it’s your call)
- 1/4 c sesame oil
- 3 T Bragg’s or Soy Sauce
- 2 T rice wine vinegar ( I used brown)
- 2 T tahini
- 2 T peanut butter
- 1 T maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
- 2 1/2 t chili garlic paste
- 2 t sesame seeds (toast if you like, I didn’t)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 spring onions, sliced (opt.)
- 1 t finely chopped ginger
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1 cucumber julienned
- other veggies as available and desired i.e. peas, spinach, sprouts, roasted broccoli
Looks like a fair amount of ingredients, I admit; however a good many of those are for the sauce, so will just be measure, dump, blend. Alrighty. Cook those noodles – be sure you have a BIG pot. Inferior noodle results are often a result of crowding the pot – too many noodles, not enough water. We use this giant monster for all our pasta prep. It works a treat. I cook my noodles to al dente (still slightly on the firm side) always, but lean extra hard in that direction when I’m going to put gooey stuff all over them and anticipate having leftovers. Drain noodles, place sesame oil in large bowl and add noodles. This step can be done ahead of time. I let mine sit this way for a few hours with no problem.
Now here’s the super easy part. Put all the other ingredients except the veggies into a bowl, food processor or blender and go. Pour over cooled noodles. Add veggies and stir OR serve noodles, veggies and sesame seeds for garnish at the table so individual munchers can find their own perfect cucumber/noodle/carrot ratio. Guess which one we did…. Delish, and just right during these last fleeting warm days.