Cold Sesame Noodles

August 20, 2012


Cold Sesame Noodles

I refuse to shun big bowls of carbs during summer, although I will concede that a steaming hot noodle soup or heavy pasta eaten in the blazing sun would be a little…sweaty. This is a cold noodle dish I’ve been enjoying for ages now; perfect hot weather carb binge material.

The predominant flavour is, DUH, sesame, which comes from, ideally, Chinese sesame paste. Tahini could also be used, although its flavour isn’t as strong so it needs bumping up with extra sesame oil. In the absence of Chinese sesame paste however, I would recommend using peanut butter; it’s rather a nice variation.

The noodles are mixed with crunchy slivers of shredded cucumber and carrot. I also added some pickled mango because I had it around after a recent spree in the Asian supermarket; it’s considerably less pickled than one would expect from something labelled as such but it has a pleasing acerbic funk nonetheless.

The sesame dressing makes for one slippery bowl of noodles; I got into a right mess eating them. Catching myself in the mirror I marvelled at the way the sun had really really brought out my freckles. Then I realised my face was just covered with flecks of sesame noodle sauce…

Cold Sesame Noodles
(serves 2 people with proper appetites)

400g egg noodles
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1.5 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste (or peanut butter)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1.5 teaspoons sesame oil
1.5 teaspoons rice vinegar
Pinch sugar
Chilli oil, to taste (or chilli flakes)
3 spring onions, sliced (green parts only)
1 small carrot, cut into very thin strips (I have a nifty peeler that does this for me)
1/2 cucumber, de-seeded and cut into very thin strips (again, the nifty peeler)
1 piece pickled mango, cut into very thin strips (optional)
Sesame seeds, to garnish

Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, drain and rinse them under cold water until totally cold. Toss them with the sesame oil and set aside.

Heat a little oil in a small pan and gently cook the ginger and garlic for about a minute.

Mix together the soy sauce, sesame paste, rice vinegar, sugar, chilli oil, garlic and ginger and then thin it out with water until it is the consistency of a dressing. You want it to coat the noodles but you don’t want it too thin either.

Pour the sauce over the noodles then toss with the spring onions, carrot, cucumber and pickled mango, is using. Garnish with extra chilli oil, a little more spring onion and sesame seeds.

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  • Reply Lizzie August 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    These look delicious. Weirdly I too had this over the weekend, though I used rice noodles, some lime juice and added coriander. Oh the flecks, oh in the eyes.

    • Reply Helen August 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      I honestly thought it was my freckles…

  • Reply Vicky @ Ursine Cuisine August 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Delicious! Have done something similar with peanut butter over on my own blog. But I love sesame paste – chicken gomodare is a lunchtime constant here.

    And, just yesterday, posted something in a similar vein – still wanting carbs even though it’s summer, so treading less obvious pasta/potato routes… although mine were courgette fritters!

    Will give this variation a whirl this week!

    • Reply Helen August 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Glad you like the look of it. I sometimes make this with peanut butter too but I think I prefer the sesame.

  • Reply Paul August 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Yes! With PB even more so. Lovely summer food; great with some shredded up cold chicken or left over roast belly pork as well.

    • Reply Helen August 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm


    • Reply Helen August 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      or, BELLY. bells are a bit harsh on the teeth

  • Reply zuko August 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Looks great!

    Is this the kind of peeler you’re talking about?

  • Reply zuko August 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Cool, thanks Helen.

  • Reply adam and theresa August 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    There is a version I do with tahini. Bit richer, but I think you like ’em rich, no? Mango’s a nice extra!

    • Reply Helen August 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Yeah I really enjoyed the mango in there. Fresh mango would prob be nice too although then the noodles wouldn’t keep well.

  • Reply Eileen August 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I could definitely use a big bowl of these delicious-sounding noodles right about now! It is lunchtime, after all. 🙂

  • Reply Bonnie August 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    “perfect hot weather carb binge material”

    Love this sentence! Totally know what you mean!

    • Reply Helen August 21, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Never say no to carbs. NEVER.

  • Reply Kelly @ Inspired Edibles August 21, 2012 at 1:06 am

    I love sesame noodles and cold sounds perfect for our heat revival. Love your presentation and the flecks of chili here and there – so yummy looking!

  • Reply joey August 21, 2012 at 11:11 am

    This sounds delicious! Just my type of flavors!

  • Reply David Polanski August 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Good option for a cold lunch :). Especially when sun strikes. I love noodles, and the sauce sounds delicious.

  • Reply Favourite Table August 23, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Great Flavors! My family loved this dish! I did what another reviewer did and used the peanut sauce instead of the peanut butter and it worked well and was very easy. Otherwise I would only caution what strength of hot sauce you use. I grabbed a habanero hot sauce by mistake and whew! it was pretty spicy but it didn’t faze my family who loves spicy foods! This recipe is a keeper!

    • Reply Helen August 23, 2012 at 10:48 am

      Ha ha! Yes I would recommend using Chinese chilli oil rather than hot sauce but hot sauce works too if it’s all you have. Funny you grabbed a habanero one though…

  • Reply The Grubworm August 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    oooh, this sort of combo is one of my favourite summer dishes, although i tend to use rice vermicelli instead of egg noodles. Something about the fine strands and cucumber laced with nuts and chilli really gets me going.

    • Reply Helen August 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      LOVE a bit of vermicelli. Totally agree on the nuts n chilli too. Phwoar.

  • Reply Christie @ Fig and Cherry August 29, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Oh yummy! Have never come across pickled mango… will seek it out!

  • Reply Jessica September 4, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Mmmm this looks noodley delicious. A better picnic option than soggy sandwiches for sure.

    • Reply Helen September 4, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Oooh they’d be lovely for a picnic actually…

  • Reply Jae July 6, 2014 at 1:48 am

    This was a big hit today at the picnic~Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply Jae July 6, 2014 at 1:49 am

    Haha! I just saw the above comments after posting. Weird!

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