Spicy Cold Sesame Noodles

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

spicy sesame noodles

Looking for something with a certain flair for dinner, I felt like every recipe I found that night was boring until I came across these noodles.  They’re exotic, easy, and there are a ton of leftovers!  You may have to go to a slightly different section of your supermarket to find sesame oil, but I promise it’s there.  The only problem is that you have to make it the night before because it needs to sit in the fridge overnight, but its worth the wait.

This recipe originally has peanuts in it, hence the Thai label on the A Small Snippet blog.  I find I don’t tend to like Thai dishes that have peanuts in them, which is why you don’t see them in the photo above.  They do add an extra crunch, however, so if you like peanuts then go for it.  The spice level is adjustable and I loved strange tingle the heat left on my lips in contrast to the cold noodles.  Using whole wheat pasta adds a great dimension of flavor and I secretly can’t deny anything with sesame seeds–that goes all the way back to being a little girl and getting excited when we went to Burger King instead of McDonalds because it meant that I could pick the sesame seeds off the Burger King bun and eat them one at a time.  I admit that eating these noodles cold sounded a little strange, but it’s definitely the way to go and I happily ate these for days after!

Spicy Cold Sesame Noodles

Adapted from A Small Snippet

  • 1 lb box of whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons red pepper flakes (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons and it was really pretty spicy.  Adjust to your tastes)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 6 Tablespoons honey
  • 6 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • Green onions, green part sliced on the bias (approx one onion per serving)
  • Shredded carrot (mine are pre-shredded from Trader Joes)
  • Sesame seeds (I bought just enough for the recipe on the super cheap from the bulk aisle at my local co-op)
  • Peanuts
  • Cilantro
  1.  In a small saucepan, heat the canola oil, sesame oil and red pepper flakes.  Once the oil is heated, leave the oil and flakes on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  When I made it, the flakes looked (and smelled) slightly burned, but there was no burned flavor (I also had the heat a little high).
  2. In the meantime, start the pasta boiling.  You definitely want cook the pasta just until al dente (slightly hard in the middle still), because overcooked noodles will just turn mushy later.  Once the pasta is done, drain well.
  3. After the oil has simmered with the flakes for a little while, pour the oil through a sieve into a bowl to strain out the flakes.  Discard flakes and whisk the honey and soy sauce into the bowl of oil.
  4. Put the noodles into a large bowl (preferably one you can store them in the fridge in with a lid) and pour the oil mixture over the top of the noodles.  Toss until the noodles are well coated in the mixture.
  5. Put the noodles in the covered bowl in the fridge overnight so that the flavors have a chance to meld.
  6. When ready to serve, sprinkle the sliced green onions, sesame seeds, peanuts and cilantro over the top of the noodles and enjoy!

6 comments :

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  • Jane

    Is it peanuts themselves, whole, that you don’t like? Or the taste of peanuts entirely? If its just the whole peanuts to which you object, I have this to contribute: When I make cold sesame noodles, I use a couple tablespoons of peanut butter in the sauce – and also about 1/2 the sesame oil (as its flavor is rather prominent). Toasting the sesame seeds (or peanuts, if using) before garnishing the dish will turn them from yummy to sublime. And one last sesame seed observation – I recall the Big Mac tongue twister – “two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, pickles, all on a sesame seed bun.” Having no childhood memories of Burger King myself (for some odd reason, we were McDonald’s or Taco Bell junk fooders), I can’t speak to their buns, but I always associated sesame seed buns with McDonald’s.

    • A Gilt Nutmeg

      I always love peanut butter, but I guess I just prefer peanut flavor in my sandwiches and not my noodles :)

      I know everyone loves toasted sesame seeds, but it’s just another matter of taste–I love them untoasted. I didn’t have the BigMac growing up; the kids meal burgers at McDonalds don’t have sesame seeds, but the Burger King kids meal burgers did! It was such a special treat :P

  • PeteH

    A couple of things —

    I’ve found that whole-wheat noodles always get gummy, whether cooked al-dente or not. Plain wheat noodles – or better still buckwheat “soba” – don’t.

    Second, instead of mixing honey with the soy, look for “black soy sauce” or better, “DOUBLE black soy sauce”, which is stronger, and sweet (from molasses ?). A 20-oz. bottle will cost you about $3 in the Asian markets, and you may well find yourself using it as a table sauce.

    Third, include some Szechwan pepper… it adds a very interesting note as well as the intriguing tingly effect on the tongue.

  • kim w

    Just made these today for dinner & they were great! I was surprised to find that the noodles tasted better cold… I will definitely be enjoying these for the new few days. Thanks for the recipe! :)

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