Cold Sesame Noodles

I love nuts and seeds; this dish really delivers on both counts. Using only pantry ingredients, these noodles are our stand-by contribution for potlucks (we clearly don’t know many people with nut allergies…) and mountain-top picnics with friends.

This is pretty-solidly a Level 1 recipe (see my last post in which I sort basic Chinese ingredients into three different levels), so it’s a good starting point for beginners. Prominent ingredients in the dish include fresh ginger and garlic, as well as the sesame paste of your choice. The original recipe from the New York Times calls for Chinese sesame paste, but I used my homemade tahini (1 cup toasted sesame seeds, 3-4 tbs. canola oil, pinch of salt) with no noticeable difference.

Sesame Noodle Ingredients: Ginger Garlic Sesame Paste Tahini

The actual noodles that one uses depend on personal preferences and ingredient availability. We really enjoy Peking Noodle brand, but the recipe that inspired this post calls for fresh Chinese egg noodles. Just choose something firm with a nice toothy bite. Not sure if toothy is an actual word in culinary contexts, but I thing it should be…

Sesame Noodle Closeup

Recipe: Cold Sesame Noodles

Inspired by The New York Times


1 pound Chinese egg or wheat noodles, 1/8th” thickness

2 tablespoons sesame oil

3 ½ tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar

2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste or tahini

1 tablespoon chunky peanut butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

Optional: 1 tablespoon Lao Gan Ma or other spicy sauce 

Optional: thai basil for garnish


Prepare sauce by combining all ingredients (except noodles and thai basil) in a large bowl.

Boil noodles until nearly cooked, but still slightly chewy, about 7 minutes for thick & dried noodles.

Drain noodles and add to large sauce bowl, tossing to coat.

Optional: Garnish with torn thai basil.

Serving Suggestion

Cool/refrigerate noodles and serve cold


2 thoughts on “Cold Sesame Noodles

  1. I made your cold sesame noodles last night. Fabulous! The sauce is so tasty yet light! My only challenge was I had to substitute non gluten noodles for the wheat noodles. I used a brown rice quinoa noodle and it turned out a little soggy and clumpy. Maybe if I add a little oil to the boiling noodle water, it will help keep the noodles from sticking together. I’ll experiment. However, the sauce was so fabulous, it completely overshadowed my less than perfect noodles.

    Looking forward to trying your brussels sprouts-pecan- cranberry saute next.


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