Cold sesame noodles are a favorite of mine that I forget to make very often. In fact, I hadn’t made them in years until a few weeks ago. With the warm weather upon us, I remembered how good these noodles are for a side dish. I love the combination of sesame seeds and peanut butter, combined with other Asian flavors. Once you try these Cool Peanut Sesame Noodles with Crunchy Vegetables, you’ll be hooked.
The peanut-sesame sauce comes together easily in a food processor or blender and then gets tossed with cooled down spaghetti. I like sesame noodles room temperature, but I also like them cold, right out of the fridge the next day. Either way is pretty tasty.
I added red bell pepper, cucumber and some bean sprouts, for flavor and crunch, and served it as a side dish. It could easily be the main course, for sure. Add some shredded chicken if you like, along with or instead of the vegetables ~ whatever mood strikes you.
Cool Peanut Sesame Noodles are great in the warm weather with grilled meats, chicken or fish. Any leftovers make for a tasty breakfast or lunch. This I know firsthand ~ I dug in for both meals the next day, they’re kind of addictive, just sayin’.
You might also like Napa Cabbage Salad for a summer side dish.
Cool Peanut Sesame Noodles with Crunchy Vegetables
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup chunky peanut butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tbsp minced or grated fresh ginger
- 5 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Crystal)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar, lightly packed
- Hot water, as needed, to thin
- Kosher salt
- 12 ounces dried spaghetti
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 scallions, sliced thin on diagonal
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into ¼-inch slices
- 2 small Kirby or English cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, sliced into half moons
- Handful of bean sprouts (optional)
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
- Toast sesame seeds in medium skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant. Watch carefully and stir frequently, being careful not to burn. Reserve 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds and set aside.
- In blender or food processor, purée remaining 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, and sugar until smooth, about 30 - 60 seconds. With machine running, add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce has the consistency of heavy cream (up to 5 tablespoons). Set aside.
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil and cook spaghetti until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool to touch. In large bowl, toss cooled noodles with sesame oil.
- Add scallions, carrots, red bell pepper, cucumbers, bean sprouts, and sesame-peanut sauce; toss to combine. Divide among bowls or plates and top with a sprinkling of reserved sesame seeds and cilantro, and serve.
- Use conventional peanut butter, not the natural kind.
- I substituted coconut aminos for the soy sauce.
- Can add cooked, shredded chicken in addition to or in place of the bell pepper and cucumber.
*Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, September, 2004