Chinese Cuisine at Home
I first came across these noodles in China’s Sichuan province. It’s a simple, approachable dish with complex flavors that speak to kids and adults. Topped with fresh cilantro, scallions and crunchy-cool cucumbers, these cold peanut-sesame noodles have become a favorite meal in the Zimmern household. The savory sauce is so delicious I’d suggest making extras to use as a salad dressing or dipping sauce for grilled chicken.
Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons natural, unsweetened, salted peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mirin (available in the ethnic section of most grocery stores)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 3 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste or tahini
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 5 tablespoons roasted peanut oil (see Note)
- 1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles
- 1/2 large seedless cucumber—peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into fine matchsticks
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- Small handful Cilantro sprigs for garnish
In a blender, combine the ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, sugar, vinegar, rice wine, garlic, sesame paste, shallot and 3 tablespoons of the peanut oil and puree until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water until chilled. Shake out the excess water and blot dry; transfer the noodles to a bowl and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Add the peanut-sesame sauce and toss well to coat. Garnish with the cilantro, cucumber and scallions.
MAKE AHEAD The peanut-sesame sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
NOTES Roasted peanut oil, as opposed to neutral peanut oil, smells richly nutty. Boyajin’s Fragrant Peanut Oil is available at specialty markets and from mingspantry.com.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.