Cold Sesame Noodles

As the new year approaches I am thinking about my goals and the future. Looking forward to a long life and new food adventures. So why not hedge my bet with a bowl of noodles. Noodles signify longevity and what could be better than that. Of course, even if I wasn’t looking for those noodles give me a little good luck I would still love Cold Sesame Noodles. It’s a carb thing.

I remember my first time having cold sesame noodles, I was taken aback. A large group of us accompanied a colleague to a Chinese restaurant. Since she was familiar with the place she ordered for all of us. I had no idea the dish would be cold. Once over the shock, I realized I was in love. Not only is this dish tasty, it works particularly well as a quick meal (like a school lunch). The noodles only take 5 minutes to cook and it does not need to be re-heated. Which actually also make it perfect for a New Year’s celebration. 

But back to the noodles. I remember reading an article in the New York Eater about these noodles originating almost 40 years ago in New York at a restaurant called Hwa Yuan. The article stated that it was the favorite dish of all the stars. Well, we are all stars today. If you don’t have any Asian noodles in the your pantry try using spaghetti noodles. Hooray!!

Note: Adapted from the recipe in the New York Times. The recipe below suggests Chinese sesame paste but I use tahini paste because that’s what I have on hand in my house.

Cold Sesame Noodles

Makes 6 Servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound Chinese buckwheat noodles (spaghetti noodles)
  • 2  1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste (or tahini paste)
  • 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili -garlic paste – optional

Garnish: Carrots, cucumbers or radishes cut into match sticks, sesame seeds and a finely chopped green onion

Note: 2 packets of soy sauce equals a little more than 1 tablespoon. Yeah, I’ve done it. So what.

Directions: 
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and allow noodles to cook about 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain pot and rinse noodles with cold water.
  • Sprinkle noodles with 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil. Place noodles in the fridge.
  • In a bowl whisk together sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame paste, sugar, ginger, garlic and chili -garlic paste (if using)
  • Pour sauce over noodles and toss.
  • Add garnishes.

This is really a versatile dish that can become a full meal if you add a protein like tofu or chicken.

So, how will you eat your sesame noodles?

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