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.

Category: Noodles, Vegetables | Tags: , 28 comments »

28 Responses to “Cold Sesame Noodles”

  1. Lizzie

    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.

  2. Helen

    I honestly thought it was my freckles…

  3. Vicky @ Ursine Cuisine

    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!

  4. Helen

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

  5. Paul

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

  6. zuko

    Looks great!

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

  7. Helen


  8. Helen

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

  9. Helen

    Exactly. I have this one, it’s awesome

  10. zuko

    Cool, thanks Helen.

  11. adam and theresa

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

  12. Helen

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

  13. Eileen

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

  14. Bonnie

    “perfect hot weather carb binge material”

    Love this sentence! Totally know what you mean!

  15. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    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!

  16. Helen

    Never say no to carbs. NEVER.

  17. Helen


  18. joey

    This sounds delicious! Just my type of flavors!

  19. David Polanski

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

  20. Favourite Table

    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!

  21. Helen

    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…

  22. The Grubworm

    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.

  23. Helen

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

  24. Christie @ Fig and Cherry

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

  25. Jessica

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

  26. Helen

    Oooh they’d be lovely for a picnic actually…

  27. Jae

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

  28. Jae

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

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