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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sesame Cold Noodles-芝麻涼麵

My family and I used to go back to Taiwan every summer and one of my favorite dishes is Sesame Cold Noodles. It gets stupid hot and humid in Taiwan 6 month out of the year so cold noodles are very popular there. It's one of those dish that you can customize to your liking. You can eat it plain with just shredded cucumbers and carrots or add whatever ingredients you like (ham, eggs, chicken, etc...).

Last summer I posted a recipe for Peanut Cold Noodles since I didn't have sesame paste on hand, well I finally bought a jar of sesame paste from the Asian market and couldn't wait to try it out. After looking at several Taiwanese food blogs and my mom's Taiwanese cook books I could't believe how many different variations of dressing you can make. I decided to use the my peanut sauce recipe from last summer and make some changes to it to make it taste more like the sauce I had in Taiwan. 












Sesame Cold Noodles
serves 4-6

Sesame Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup Chinese sesame paste*
  • 2 tbs creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup hot water*
  • 1 1/2 tbs Chinese black rice vinegar*
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 minced garlic (or more if you like)
  • 1 tsp chili sauce (optional)
Noodles/Toppings:
  • 1 lb Chinese egg noodles or spaghetti
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame oil* (optional but highly recommended if you are making this ahead of time)
  • 1 cup julienned cucumbers
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)
Cook the noodles according to package instruction. While waiting for the noodles to be done, add all the ingredients listed under "Sesame Dressing" in to a small bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. Drain the cooked noodles and rise the noodles off couple times with cold water. Make sure the noodles are well drained and in a large bowl, toss with the sesame oil to keep the noodles from sticking to each other. 

Serving-
You can toss all the dressing, noodles, toppings in a large bowl ahead of time keep cool in the fridge or make individual servings. To make individual servings, top your desire portion of noodles with toppings and spoon some of the sesame dressing on top. I happened to have some rotisserie chicken on hand so I shredded some chicken and add them to the noodles. 

* If you don't have Chinese sesame paste, you can use Tahini but keep in mind that Tahini is milder in flavor. 
* Chinese black rice vinegar has a deep, smoky flavor while rice wine vinegar is a very mild and sweet vinegar. Think of the black rice vinegar as the Balsamic vinegar of Asia. 
* Pending on the brand of sesame paste you might have to adjust the amount of water to get to your desire dressing consistency.
* I like using toasted sesame oil since it doesn't effect the flavor of the sesame dressing. You can use any other mild flavor oil you like since it's only for tossing in the noodles to keep them from sticking.



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