Last Updated on March 10, 2024 by David Michael

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Cold Sesame Noodles

When the weather turns warm I like to eat cold foods. When the summer scorches, cold sesame noodles are one of my favorite dishes to eat. The only cooking involved is the boiling of the noodles. I like to make a large batch of this and lunch is taken care of for several days. Cooling bits of cucumber are the perfect counterpart to the warmth from the garlic chili paste all blended perfectly in a smooth sesame sauce. 

cold sesame noodles ingredients - Fresh ginger, garlic, cucumber, scallions, and chili garlic paste.
Fresh ginger, garlic, cucumber, scallions, and chili garlic paste for cold sesame noodles.

Cold Sesame Noodles Recipe

16 ounces linguine, spaghetti, or lo mein noodles
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste) or peanut butter
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chili garlic paste, or to taste
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
Water, about 1/2 cup
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 bunch scallions (2-3 bulbs) greens sliced thin
Garnish: sesame seeds.

Cook noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente.

Drain the noodles and cool them with cold running water. Drain the cooled noodles.

In a large bowl stir together the tahini or peanut butter with the sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, chili garlic paste, ginger, garlic and sugar. Slowly stir in water until the sauce is the consistency of heavy cream, you may not need the full 1/2 cup depending on the consistency of your sesame paste or peanut butter. Sometimes you may need a little more water. 
You may also add the ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.

Add the noodles and the diced cucumbers to the large bowl with the sauce and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Place the noodles on a serving platter, top with the sliced scallions , garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

Note: Use plain rice vinegar not seasoned rice vinegar. Seasoned rice vinegar has added sugar and salt (perfect for sushi making).

Variations and Additions to Cold Sesame Noodles

Cold sesame noodles are versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few variations and additions you can consider:

Crunchy Vegetable Cold Sesame Noodles

Enhance the dish by adding julienned or thinly sliced vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and bean sprouts. These additions provide a refreshing crunch and boost the nutritional value of the dish and add great color and texture.

Protein-Packed Cold Sesame Noodles

For a heartier version, add cooked and cooled shredded chicken, shrimp, or tofu to the noodles. These protein options make the dish more satisfying and turn it into a complete meal.

Extra Spicy Cold Sesame Noodles

If you enjoy spicy flavors, increase the chili garlic paste or add cracked Szechuan peppercorns, red chili flakes, or hot sauce to the sauce mixture. This variation will give your noodles a fiery kick and tantalize your taste buds.

Experiment with these variations and find the combination that suits your palate and dietary preferences.

For more asian flavors check out our recipe for Chinese Roast Ribs!

You may also like our Cold Pea Soup – another great way to beat the heat.

Recommended Products

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Organic Sesame Tahini Paste

This is an incredibly smooth tahini. It’s blended from hulled sesame seeds. You may not need to add as much liquid to the sesame sauce with this paste.

Organic Ethiopian Sesame Tahini Paste - Hulled - Stone-Ground, Unsalted, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Vegan, Peanut-Free

La Tourangelle Toasted Sesame Oil

Toasting the sesame seeds give them a deep complex flavor. I love this sesame oil and it comes in a tin to protect it from light. A high quality toasted sesame oil.

La Tourangelle, Toasted Sesame Oil, Great for Cooking, Add to Noodles, Stir-Fry, Vegetables, Vinaigrettes, and Marinades

Ninja High Powered Blender

If you want a perfectly smooth sauce, or if you have to hide an ingredient in a smoothly blended sauce – the Ninja has the power to get you there. I love the processing container for this sauce.

Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen System, 1500W, 4 Functions for Smoothies, Processing, Dough, Drinks & More, with 72-oz.* Blender Pitcher, 64-oz. Processor Bowl

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