Friday, July 23, 2010

Cold Sesame Noodles


I've tried countless recipes for sesame noodles & there is always something about each of them that I'm not completely wild about. Either it's too heavy on the peanut butter, or not heavy enough...too vinegary tasting, or too bland...
Here, I have come up with my own recipe...adding in all the things I love & leaving out the things I don't.
For the first time in a long while, I tried making them with Soba noodles {Japanese buckwheat noodles}...which, many recipes out there actually call for. Usually, I just use regular spaghetti. After trying these, I think I'll bag the Soba noodles next time. I've decided I like plain ole' spaghetti better. But, by all means, use whichever you'd like.
When it's as hot as it has been outside, eating cold sesame noodles is the best. It's a great picnic food & leftovers are always fantastic too!

To begin, add 3/4 cups smooth peanut butter, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, a 1" chunk of peeled ginger {coarsely chopped}, 1 large clove of garlic {coarsely chopped}, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of light brown sugar & 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth.
Then, with the motor running, drizzle in some water to thin the sauce. You will need about a 1/4 cup, or more, to get it to the right consistency. It should be thin enough to pour easily, but not so thin that it runs right off the pasta.

Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook 8 ounces of spaghetti {or Soba noodles}, according to the package instructions, or until al dente.
Drain the pasta & rinse under cold water to cool. Set aside.

Meanwhile, chop 4 scallions {light & dark green parts} & add them to a large mixing bowl. To them, add in 1 medium cucumber {peeled, seeded & cut into matchsticks},

and 2 bell peppers {thinly sliced}. You can use any color pepper you'd like.

Toss everything up.

Pour in about half of the sauce & toss to combine well. Add more sauce, as necessary to get the desired consistency. You may not need all the sauce. But, save it, as it helps to have some on hand to moisten leftovers, which tend to dry out once chilled.
If desired, you can add in some protein...such as, cubed tofu, or shredded cooked chicken breast.


Toss to combine & garnish with sesame seeds. I like to use a mix of both black & toasted white seeds.

Cold Sesame Noodles

Serves 4

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1" chunk of peeled fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
water, to thin
8 ounces spaghetti, or soba noodles
4 scallions {light & dark green parts}, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded & sliced in matchsticks
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Optional added protein: Cubed extra firm tofu, or shredded cooked chicken breast

Puree the peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, light brown sugar & red pepper flakes in the bowl of a food processor, until smooth. With the motor running, add some water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the sauce has a fluid consistency.
Cook the pasta, according to the package instructions, until cooked al dente. Drain & rinse under cold water to cool. Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl & add in the scallions, bell pepper & cucumber. Pour in about half of the sauce & toss to combine well. Add more sauce, as necessary to get the desired consistency. You may not need all the sauce. But, save it, as it helps to have some on hand to moisten leftovers, which tend to dry out once chilled.
If adding some tofu, or chicken to the salad, add that now. Toss to combine & garnish with the sesame seeds.
Click here for the printable recipe.

9 comments:

Joanne said...

Sesame noodles are the best! But you're right, it's so hard to get them to that just perfect stage. I'm so going to have to try this recipe!

Laurie @simplyscratch said...

Yum! This looks so delicious! I love any recipe that calls for peanut butter and toasted sesame seed oil! Perfection!

Ariel said...

hi! I just happened upon your website from tastespotting. Your food looks really really delicious! congrats on such a great blog!! :)
-ariel

foodieinberlin.com said...

Just clicked through from tastespotting. Love that site and like the look of this salad of yours! Very very nice!

Noel said...

Also came through Tastespotting and I love this recipe! Your website name is super cute too. :)

Kevin said...

That looks good and I like that it is served cold!

foodieinberlin.com said...

I have been looking and looking for this recipe! I forgot to bookmark your page and couldn't for the life of me find it! Well now I found it - this is dinner tonight!

Mouthy One said...

Lovely! Cutting the cukes into match-sticks is integral!

Mouthy One said...

Wonderful! Like you, I'm a fan of sesame noodles but oftentimes find fault with the sauce. I also prefer semolina to the Soba noodles. Well done! I'm throwing this together later today.

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