Cold Sesame Noodles

This has been a long-standing, go-to from my kitchen. It is relatively inexpensive to make. You can adjust all of the ingredients to your taste (making it as strong flavored as you like). It is a hit with vegans and others, alike. It is also the kind of thing that stores pretty well. The flavors really mellow out as it sits in your fridge, overnight. I highly recommend making this fresh if you are going to serve it. However, it is a great and easy packed lunch. I suggest adding more carrots to make this more salad-y, if you so choose.

By the way, this recipe is a great reason to take a trip to the international market. Walk down the hot sauce and tamari aisle. Become familiar with the vast array of noodles. Ask questions of other shoppers and market employees. I choose my wheat noodles by checking ingredients (only: wheat flour, water, salt) and for quick-cooking-time (3 – 5 minutes). My favorite tend to be kuk-soo (gougsou), which are Korean. Yes, soba and udon will work for this. I just happen to like the flat shape of the kuk-soo, and the way that it holds the sauce (much like fettuccine holds pesto).

Remember to use the entire spring onion, green and all. Please forgive, these are very (very) rough estimates. I tend to just throw everything in the sauce, and taste it along the way. It is a very heavy flavor before it hits the noodles (again, think pesto).

1460-669-thickboxCold Sesame Noodles

Ingredients:

  • wheat noodles (simple 3 minute noodles)
  • 5 spice or other baked/pressed tofu (one block, cut in small cubes)
  • chopped spring onion/scallion (3-5)
  • grated carrot (1-2 cups)
  • hand full or more chopped parsley (flat leaf)
  • garnish: toasted sesame seeds (black, white, or combo)
Sauce:

  • tahini (1/4 cup or more)
  • olive or grapeseed oil (see instruction #1, below)
  • soy sauce or Braggs amino acids(3 tablespoons or so; can be eliminated and, instead, be a little water and salt for a no-soy alternative)
  • garlic chili sauce (heaping teaspoon, at least, add crush red pepper or chili spice oil if you want hotter)
  • sesame oil (a teaspoon or two)
  • rice vinegar (a couple of teaspoons, and can be substituted with apple cider but then adjust for missing salt)
  • sugar or agave nectar (large pinch or 1/4 teaspoon)
  • crushed or finely minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • minced fresh ginger (2-3 tablespoons, at least)
  • paprika (at least a couple of teaspoons–maybe more)
  • black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until just mixed, and adjust to taste. It should be SUPER strong in flavor and a paste more than sauce, depending on thickness of tahini. Sauce notes: your sauce may break. If this happens, it is not a big deal and will still make a fine dish. If you want to thin out the sauce or lighten the sesame flavor, add olive, grapeseed, or other oil of your choosing to taste.
  2. Boil noodles, strain, and rinse thoroughly with cold water (to cool and stop the cooking but try to keep the noodles luke warm, so it is easier to mix in the sauce).
  3. In a bowl, toss together until noodles are evenly covered (I usually add ingredients in 1/3s: add 1/3 of everything, toss, and then add another 1/3, etc.): noodles, chopped scallion, grated carrot, sauce, parsley.
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