Cold Sesame Noodles


This dish is full of ingredients that you can store in your pantry, such as noodles, soy sauce, and tahini (sesame paste). After you toss the cool noodles in the creamy sauce, drizzle them with Chinese chili oil to add a little kick to this simple side dish.From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).


  • 1 pound Chinese egg noodles, spaghetti, or linguine

  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 6 tablespoons sesame paste (tahini) or peanut butter

  • ¾ cup water, plus more if needed

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 scallion (both white and green parts), thinly sliced

  • 1 ½ inches fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (1 tablespoon)

  • Chinese chili oil (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the noodles, and cook until just barely tender, 5 to 6 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Drain well. Toss them with the sesame oil to coat. Cover and refrigerate.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, thin the sesame paste by stirring enough water into the paste to achieve the consistency of thick cream. Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Add the mixture to the sesame paste. Stir in the garlic, three quarters of the scallion, and the ginger.

  3. Just before serving, toss the chilled noodles with the sauce. Garnish with the remaining scallion and drizzle with the chili oil, if using.

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