Sesame-peanut noodles are tossed with sesame seeds, peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sliced cucumbers, and scallions. A great lunch or first course to a Chinese dinner.
These gooey, slurpy, peanut butter-y noodles are the true test of a Chinese restaurant’s worthiness. Although now you don’t have to leave it to chance. You can simply make them at home. These sesame-peanut noodles are adapted from The New Basics Cookbook, by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. Adapt it as you will, tossing in some shredded leftover chicken or grilled shrimp or asparagus or sugar snaps or carrots or whatever you please. Originally published October 20, 2005.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 20 M
- Serves 4
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 1/3 cup roasted peanuts, cashews, or whatever nuts you have
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mirin or sherry
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
- 1 English cucumber (also called hothouse cukes — the long, skinny ones), peeled
- 1 pound soba noodles (or substitute any pasta)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 scallions, green parts only, sliced 1/4 inch thick on an angle
- 1. Bring a large pot of salted water (figure about 1 teaspoon salt per quart of water) to a boil.
- 2. Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring or shaking things frequently, until they turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- 3. In a food processor, combine the peanut butter, sesame oil, peanuts, soy sauce, vinegar, mirin or sherry, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Process to a purée. Stir in half the cooled toasted sesame seeds.
- 4. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and toss them in the compost or the trash. Slice each cucumber half crosswise about 1/4 inch thick.
- 5. Add the noodles and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain very well, shaking the colander until it stops dripping, and dump into a bowl. Add the peanut mixture, cilantro, and black pepper, and toss to coat. Turn out onto a large platter. Arrange the cucumber slices around the edge of the platter, sprinkle the scallions on top, and sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds on last. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*What Is Mirin?
- Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine; you’ll find it in the Asian section of your supermarket.