• Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles


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

Servings: 4 to 6

Total: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 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.

Photograph by Madeleine Hill.

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