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Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles

Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles

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  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 Cup tahini (sesame paste), well-stirred
  • 1 Cup Sneaky Chef White Purée*
  • 1/4 Cup rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 Pound Asian noodles, freshly cooked
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish
  • Cucumber slices, for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish


In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, tahini, White Purée, vinegar, and garlic. Add red pepper flakes gradually to taste.

Put the pasta in a large serving bowl. Spoon the sauce over the pasta, tossing to coat the pasta evenly. Garnish with sliced green onions, cucumber, and sesame seeds, if using. Refrigerate until cool, or feel free to serve it warm.

4-Ingredient Cold Sesame Noodles

Cold sesame noodles don't get any easier than with my 4-ingredient peanut sauce! This dish is so ridiculously easy to make and it's super kid-friendly, too!

Technique tip: You'll have leftover sauce, depending on how much pasta you make. So start with less sauce and add more as you need it.

*Warm peanut butter in microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften up for easier mixing.

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Delish! Biggest tweak: We made this with spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Believe it or not, it was pretty darn good! For the recipe, we doubled everything. But we used NO water whatsoever! Added an additional tablespoon of peanut butter. The sesame oil was the spicy variety, which definitely gave it a kick. A little extra garlic. Subbed honey for the sugar. Garnished with thinly sliced red pepper and cucumber in addition to the scallions. We WILL have this again! Yum!

Pretty good recipe, and very easy. I used half tahini and half peanut butter for more sesame flavor, and about 4 times the heat that they call for. I would recommend not putting in any water until you have blended the other ingredients - it might not need any, and certainly not 1/4 cup.

I have made this dish a few times & always double the sauce. If you don't, it is too dry & the flavors do not come through. I used angel hair pasta and added thin slices of cucumber with the scallions. Delicious!

umm. yumm..eating it now. tastes good..I'm so glad that you had this recipe so that I can enjoy these noodles the right way!

Took other reviewers suggestions and added cucumber, red pepper strips, lime, cilantro, and grilled chicken (my husband marinated it in mirin, chili paste, and soy sauce). I used angel hair pasta. It was really good, but we were eating it for a long time, if you're only cooking for a couple you might want to cut down the recipe.

I used tahini instead of peanut butter and added a little extra sugar and thinly sliced red bell pepper. Delicious! I agree that it is a little plain for a main course but it makes a great snack or light meal. And it's so quick and easy! Although next time I think I'll take the time to chop up some cashews to sprinkle on top as another reviewer suggested.

Very easy, quick and delicious! guests devoured it. serve immediately or gets mushy. i served slightly warm/room temp and added the red/yellow pepper slices like other reviewer suggested

I love this recipe. It is so easy and I can spice it to taste. I sometimes add thin slices of red and green peppers to give it a more colorful presentation.

I made this dish after reading the mixed reviews. I upped the peanut butter a bit, halved the water and put in a smidge more garlic (I love garlic) and thought it was great. I also served it warm as we were ready to eat as soon as it was done. It was so easy and yummy I will definitely make again.

This is an outstanding dish. Huge hit with my guests the first time I tried it. Easy, easy, easy. Done in just a few minutes. Iɽ serve it room temperature or even a little warm next time. Eat immediately after tossing w/ noodles or it gets gooey.

Not very good. The sauce was really thin and flavors not very distinctive.

We really like this one. I do punch it up with extra garlic-chile paste and lime, but it's really a good basic recipe to play with. Add tons of veggies and such, and it's a quick easy dinner.

This recipe was OK but I also made one of the other Cold Sesame Noodles recipes from Epicurious at the same time to compare the two recipes and I found that I liked both recipes very much when I mixed them together. This recipe was blended in a processor and I thought the sauce was too runny. The other recipe I used was cooked and came out thicker but didn't have garlic in it and it is very difficult for me to cook without garlic. So by putting the two recipes together I was very pleased with the favor.

I fully agree with other reviewers: bland, blah and uninteresting. I used Udon noodles, honey instead of sugar, added fresh cilantro, julienned red bell pepper and sliced English cucumber. Even after tasting, I "upped" some ingredients trying to get anything resembling flavor from this. The final result tasted like noodles with something thick on them. no other way to describe it. In my opinion it's not worth trying, the recipe hit the round file with a resounding thud. Next time I'll try Ming Tsai's "Spicy Vegetarian Peanut Noodle Salad" on

This is one of my all time summer favorites. Sauce can be made up well ahead of time and stored until needed. Dress it up ith more chili, cucumber, red pepper strips, chicken - for the meat eaters, or baked tofu for the rest of us or just eaten plain. Soba noodles are really the way to go.

A popular recipe and easy to make. I double the source, up the chili paste, and added shedded English cucumber and red pepper for color and texture. I used Italian angel hair pasta and Italian parsley. Since I always has both item in my fridge. Being an Chinese myself, I find that it is easier to cook the angel hair pasta ¡§al dente¡¨ than the Chinese egg noodle.

This is an easy to make and tasty dish. I used soba noodles instead of egg noodles and added fresh cilantro as suggested by other reviewers. Next time I will up the chili paste. Marinated tofu would be good on the side.

Hi The blend of flavors was very good, and I took some advice from below and added a squirt of lime juice and to the peanut butter amount I added two tablespoons of tahini to make it nuttier. I wanted an easy-to-handle dish for a buffet, so instead of long noodles I used farfalle. It's the noodles that made me give this 2 forks rather than 3, so that's not fair perhaps. I followed the instructions on the farfalle box to cook for 11 minutes for al dente, and they came out underdone. I should have boiled them for at least another two minutes. If I had I would have perhaps liked the texture of this dish better, but the sauce was fine as it is written. I did not increase the red pepper flakes and thought there was just enough of a subtle kick without it becoming an obviously spicy dish.

Made this for a buffet party. I used smaller broken egg noodles and it was easier to eat than the long noodles. I would like to try it warm, I didn't think it looked very appealing cold. I mixed it right before serving and sprinked crushed cashews on top. It was pretty easy to make once you have all the ingredients.

I almost made the 1991 Cold Sesame Noodle recipe, but -- after reading all the cooks' reviews -- I made this one (1993) instead. Yum! It was so good, I'm not even tempted to try the other recipe. Also thanks to cooks' reviews, I have kept separate the different parts of the dish. I especially recommend this separation if you think you may have leftovers. Eaters can just mix the noodles, sauce and scallions in their own noodle bowls. Yum, again! Also, chunky peanut butter worked out just great.

Good recipe, simple and tasty. I simply used a wire whisk to mix up the sauce. Was a great addition for a Chinese themed meal for vegetarians.

I,too, found this bland and uninteresting. If I were to make it again (which I won't), I would go heavier on the flavors. Also, I cooked only 8 ounces of noodles, and still did not have enough sauce.

We loved this dish--served it with a side of chicken for the meat eaters and a side of tofu for the normal people :-). added extra Yeo's Chili paste and served with Sesame seeds. It was fantastic.

This was very simple to make and tastes so good. It does make a lot, so if you are cooking for one, like me, you should halve the recipe. I've been taking it to work for lunch. It definitely tastes best after a day in the refrigerator.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons natural, unsweetened, salted peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
  • 1 clove (small) garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste or tahini
  • 1 (small) shallot, minced
  • 5 tablespoons roasted peanut oil (see Note)
  • 1 pound dried Chinese egg noodles
  • ½ (large) seedless cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into fine matchsticks
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Ma La Oil

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 cucumber and scallions and drizzle with Ma La Oil, leaving the solid spices behind.

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Sorry if this is a double post but my previous review disappeared after submission -- I only rated 2 stars due to blandness -- I tried to do a review without a rating this time and that's not allowed. In case my other review is gone but this one makes it: replace most/all broth with more rice vinegar and soy sauce, replace half peanut butter with tahini, add more fresh ginger, add garlic, and chopped nuts garnish.

As I sat here sweltering in the summer heat of almost 100 degrees, attending to a post-surgical spouse with no appetite, I found this. I cut the ingredients to a single serving, and had it finished in less than 10 minutes. This was the perfect dish for the situation, with wonderful flavors, full of possibilities in the future.

The mistake I made in moving to the Poconos from NYC was not checking out the Chinese food in the area. It's mediocre at best and most places don't even have cold sesame noodles. Thank God for this recipe. It tastes almost exactly like what I used to get back in NYC.

Cold Somen noodles are a nice choice. If you're feeling all artisanal, lightly toast some sesame seeds and whirl them up in the mini-processor that came with your stick blender. Extra-fresh sesame taste, and fluffy texture. That pepper sauce recipe is a keeper, too!

I doubled the sesame oil but otherwise made this as-is and it was delicious! Even better cold the next day. On the advice of another commenter I added snow peas, carrots, and red pepper to give it some crunch.

This dish is easy and delicious. I took the suggestion about adding 2 tbs of sesame oil to the noodles and chilling before adding the sauce, and it was a wonderful idea. The dish had even more of a sesame flavor and the sauce didn't make the noodles "clump up."

Dry-fry 1lb tofu ahead, and then stir into the sauce. Eat it for lunch all week.

Easy and delicious. We made this into a whole healthy meal by adding julienned carrot, red pepper, cabbage, and snow peas, each just barely steamed or sauteed first, and using whole-wheat pasta. Also doubled the ginger in the sauce and added an equal amount of garlic. This is a great easy meal to serve guests too, because all the colors are gorgeous and it's best at room temperature. We top with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, and cilantro. Yum.

My husband and I absolutely love this recipe. Since we first tried it, it has become a favorite and we make it every couple of weeks. The first time I made it, it was pretty good, but did become really thick and stiff. I tried many different variations of things to "fix" it and found that the recipe is actually perfect the way it is, with only one small change. After cooking the noodles, I toss them with about 2Tb of sesame oil and refrigerate them for at least an hour before tossing with the sauce. It gives an even lovelier sesame taste and the sauce sticks to the noodles but doesn't stiffen up. even after a day in the refrigerator (they never last longer than that!) Love Love Love it!

I love this recipe--and I don't usually bother with recipes! I made only one change: red pepper chili paste (totally worth having in the fridge) rather than red pepper flakes. So good! Don't substitute the vinegar--rice vinegar is my new friend. All the tang, but not so much bite.

This really hit the spot! Like others, I reduced the peanut butter (1/4 c. was plenty - I used chunky). I also grated in some garlic along with the ginger, and I used pasta water to thin the sauce rather than broth. Was fantastic over soba noodles. Served with scallions and julienned cucumber and carrots.

This recipe was disastrous. The sauce only needed to cook for about a minute, long enough for the natural peanut butter we used to soften. I let it "thicken" a couple more minutes and it turned into a hard paste. Eventually I had to add a whole cup of extra broth to get it soft enough to mix with the noodles. I used soba, per other reviewers' suggestions, and would NOT do that again. It all fused into a gloppy mess in the bowl though it tasted fine Iɽ try another recipe before trying this one again.

I made a few substitutions the last time I made this dish to use what I had on hand. I barely had a quarter cup of peanut butter, buckwheat noodles really kicked up the flavor, ginger powder worked instead of fresh, and I toasted the sesame seeds. Some leftover diced chicken and cubed, freshly picked heirloom tomatoes made it a meal.

This recipe has become my go-to easy summer meal - served with grilled chicken breast, fresh cilantro, scallions and cucumber- it's pure heaven. I reduce the sugar to 1T, and add 1/4c PB and 1/4c satay peanut sauce. Added bonus when it's 92 degrees outside: it can be made in the microwave - cook 2

3 minutes (or until thickened), stirring every 20

Very simple and delicious. As a native New Yorker in Salt Lake City I get cravings for chinese food and this recipe helps me quell those cravings and saves me money all at the same time. Tastes as good as at my favorite chinese restaurant at home. I did make some modifications I added fresh garlic, and used sriacha in place of the dried red pepper. I also add fresh shredded raw baby cabbage to the bowl to be tossed with the pasta & sauce. But that's because I seem to be on a cabbage kick lately.

Made everything the night before (stopped short of adding the sauce) and kept it in the office's fridge the next morning for an evening women's bible study. As advised, cooked noodles al dente, rinsed it thoroughly in cold water, coated it with 1 T sesame oil. When ready to serve at the meeting, simply added sauce and tossed. Many second servings and compliments.

This recipe is so much like the sesame noodles you get at a Chinese restaurant. I thought it was delicious. Used all the leftover noodles including some whole grain, some thick, some thin. I absolutely love peanut butter, but those who are not total peanut butter fanatics might want to use 1/3 cup instead of a 1/2 cup of PB.

My three year old son loved making this with me, and stood over the bowl as I mixed everything together, eating it by the HANDFUL. Gross, maybe, but high praise all the same! I made stir friy veggies first - garlic, peanuts, carrot, red pepper, and several heads of bok choy, and tofu then I doubled the sauce I found there was too much peanut butter so I added fresh lime and MILK. I wasn't sure about that but it was actually very good - made it creamier and, if you are trying to sneak calcium into a child's diet, why not? Garnished with cilantro and cucumber. Any dish that causes a three yaer old to say "bok choy is dawishus" is a winner in my book!

I like the sauce but the noodle broke a bit and ended up being mushy. Would use the sauce on other applications.

It was pretty good with thin cut veggies over soba noodles. I made it with a touch of chili powder instead of pepper flakes in hopes that it would be a kid pleaser. it was not. 3 out of 3 kids at my table would not eat it.

Quick and easy summer dinner. Only used 1/4 cup of peanut butter and it was perfect. Otherwise, followed the recipe.

I'm originally from NYC and have had some of the best Chinese food around. I was very impressed by this recipe. It was INCREDIBLE! In fact, it was better than any CSN I've had at restaurants. At first, I had left out the vinegar and broth because I didn't think the recipe sounded right with them. When the sauce came out way too thick, I ended up putting in the broth and vinegar after all. I'm so glad I did. This is the best recipe for Cold Sesame Noodles I've ever tried.

Recipe Summary

  • 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 rice wine or sake
  • 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 dried Chinese egg noodles
  • 1/2 large seedless cucumber&mdashpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into fine matchsticks
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Ma La Oil

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 cucumber and scallions and drizzle with Ma La Oil, leaving the solid spices behind.

What are Taiwanese Cold Noodles?

In a nutshell, Taiwanese cold noodles are made from three parts:

  1. Noodles – can be either buckwheat or egg
  2. Vegetables – anything from beansprouts, spring onion, julienned carrot, julienned cucumber
  3. Sesame sauce – Chinese sesame (and/or peanut) paste seasoned with other ingredients commonly including: black vinegar, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, ginger

These tend to be piled into a bowl in that order and then served straight away, leaving the diner to mix the 3 elements themselves (as in the photo below):

A typical bowl of Taiwanese sesame noodles (i.e. the warm version of the dish). This is a ‘middle of the road’ version, no frills, nothing special but still very good. This specific bowl can be found across the country, served by the nationwide chain ‘Ba Fang Yun Ji Dumpling’.

Should sesame noodles be served hot or cold?

It’s a little complicated, but the bottom line is that this dish is delicious either hot or cold, and so I believe you should choose whichever you prefer. I have written this recipe to be served warm (for reasons I will go into), but you can just as easily serve it cold – I have left a note in the recipe for this.

If you are interested in the detail, here is my understanding that applies to the Taiwanese versions of these dishes.

The ‘hot and cold versions’ of this dish are technically two separate dishes:

1 – Cold (Taiwanese cold noodles) = ma jiang liang mian = 麻醬涼麵 (translates to ‘sesame paste cold noodles’)

2 – Warm (Taiwnanese sesame noodles) = ma jiang mian = 麻醬麵 (translates to ‘sesame paste noodles’)

My position in this article is that I consider the two to be essentially the same, bar the temperature at which they are served.

This is because the sauce, for me the key flavour component of the dish, is identical in both. You can test this theory by searching for recipes of both dishes. Granted the vegetable component can vary slightly between the two (it is more common to find julienned cucumber and carrot in the cold version vs beansprouts and spring onion in the hot), but for me this is not a huge distinction.

Having tried both liang mian and ma jiang mian during my travels in Taiwan, I have opted for the warm version here because:

  • It is easier to get that silky, glossy noodle-coating texture when the sauce is warm
  • My favourite version I ate across the whole of Taiwan was warm (see review)
  • Warm food tends to be more suitable temperature for food here in the UK (you might think differently if you were served a steaming hot bowl of noodles in the middle of one of Taiwan’s brutally hot summers!)

Taiwanese vs Chinese liang mian

To make Taiwanese cold noodles even more complicated, there are also Chinese versions of this dish that you may see recipes for. These recipes add additional ingredients such as sichuan peppercorn and chilli oil.

This recipe is for Taiwanese cold noodles, which is cleaner and really heroes the rich and nutty sesame flavour that comes from the key ingredient – Chinese sesame paste.

Sesame Noodles

There actually aren’t that many noodle dishes that I know that are truly better served at room temperature rather than warm. But this is one of them. Which makes this terrific for taking to gatherings or for work lunches.

OR as a side dish that can be made well in advance of serving – one less thing to heat up when you’re ready to serve a crowd, yay!

It’s terrifically versatile and can be served plain just as I’ve shown it here, or with add ins such as more vegetables and/or even shredded chicken to fill it out and make a complete meal!


Cold Sesame Noodles

These Cold Sesame Noodles are a really delicious peanut butter Asian noodle recipe.

Peanut butter lovers… these Cold Sesame Noodles are for YOU!

Ah, Tyler Florence… he’s one of those chefs that I actually *watch* on Food Network… sometimes because he’s just easy-on-the-eyes, and sometimes because he’s making something droolworthy, like these Cold Sesame Noodles.

Chinese egg pasta is tossed with a peanut buttery sauce to create a creamy Asian-style noodle dish. Cool, sliced cucumbers act as a refreshing accompaniment and a welcome bite among the rich flavors.

Throw some chicken in the mix to create a main dish, or serve this up as a side to Asian Lettuce Wraps or Hoisin- Lime Marinated Chicken.

This recipe comes from Tyler Florence’s cookbook, Tyler’s Ultimate… loads of appetizing pictures and good-sounding recipes. It’s a definite keeper.

My family thinks these noodles are great, but I really think you have to be a peanut butter fan to enjoy this one. My 7 year old (an avid peanut butter lover) has re-named it, “Peanut Butter Spaghetti.”

If you’re looking for a few more Asian-style recipes, you might also enjoy my Easy Shrimp Fried Rice or this 15 Minute Lo Mein. Sweet and Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Spicy Sesame Chicken Potstickers are also delicious Asian recipes.


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