Sesame Cold Noodles

One of my favorite appetizers was inspired by my many visits to Kingdom of Vegetarians and New Harmony Restaurant, both Vegetarian Chinese places in Philadelphia. I used to work long hours in my studio loft in downtown Philly Chinatown and take a break for some excellent food. When my family visited from Jersey, a visit to one of Ming’s restaurants was almost certain. Especially from the dim sum menu, this was one of my must-order dishes. Once I figured out how to make it at home I usually only ordered it to convince myself how far along my own attempts were getting.

I never found this in my travels in China, and determined it must belong to the many dishes that fall into the category of American Chinese, as with many menu items that are called Chinese, but actually have been adapted or created for foreign whims and tastes. Still, especially on a warm summer day, with chopsticks this is a real treat and great starter. It’s also excellent for picnics and parties and can be kept in the fridge in a closed container. Like many noodle dishes it’s usually even better the next day. If there’s any left.

Sesame Cold Noodles
serves 3-4 / time: 20 minutes

200g Asian wheat noodles
1 Tbs tahini
2 Tbs peanut butter or cashew butter
1 tspn sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce / tamari
2 Tbs rice vinegar or 3 Tbs lemon juice
3-4 Tbs water
1-2 Tbs agave / sugar
1 Tbs sesame seeds toasted
1/4 cup spring onions diced
1/2 cup bean sprouts

  1. Cook noodles according to package instructions, rinse with cold water, drain, toss with a bit of oil, cover and refrigerate for 30 min.
  2. In a mixing bowl or measuring cup mix tahini, nut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, water, agave with a whisk or fork until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate sauce for minimum of 30 min.
  3. Arrange noodles on plate or in bowl and top with sauce. Alternately, mix sauce with noodles with sauce before chilling.
  4. Garnish with fresh sprouts, spring onions, seeds and serve.

Variations: Meaty? Slice thin strips of smoked tofu or seitan and put on top of noodles before adding sauce. Spicy? Add some hot sauce to the sauce before mixing. Peanutty? Replace the tahini with another tablespoob of peanut butter.

4 thoughts on “Sesame Cold Noodles

  1. This was always one of my favorite dishes, too!! I would crush this whenever we would go out and eat a meatless dinner when visiting Justin in Philly. Hahaha. That and the tofu and bean curd… Mommomomom

  2. Thanks, Ian. Fully agreed. This dish rules. Next time we’re in Philly we gotta crush it… again. If we don’t make it to Philly, maybe I’ll cook it up for us. ;)

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