It’s been pretty hot in Vancouver lately and when it’s hot, I really don’t feel like eating anything that would warm me up even further. I couldn’t get noodles off my mind so I finally decided on a chilled noodle dish: chilled spicy sesame noodles.
Given the popularity of peanut butter noodles and peanut butter-based sauces, I kind of had a hint that it just might be something that is actually pretty tasty. Of course, I would have no idea since I am deathly allergic to peanuts and don’t really feel like risking my life over some sauce so I had to improvise. The closest thing to peanut butter in my books? Tahini.
Tahini is a paste made out of sesame seeds that have been ground. When ground, the essential oils of the seeds seep out and help to emulsify the surrounding seeds which result in a paste. It’s basically another nut butter made out of sesame seeds and can be commonly found in Middle Eastern cuisine and hummus. It lends a distinct nutty flavour and is creamy and delicious. It belongs in any pantry, trust me.
In this recipe, tahini fulfills the role of peanut butter and it is seriously not missed. Combined with gochujang, sriracha and chili flakes, it is a creamy sauce without any added and nutrition-less fats with a prominent hit of spice. I used banh pho noodles, specifically the ones found in bun bo hue, but you can use any noodle you like. I would probably go with Korean somyeon or Japanese soba noodles as they are chewy and toothsome and perfect for a chilled noodle salad.
Give it a try today!
Chilled spicy sesame noodles
What you’ll need:
– 1 pkg banh pho noodles, soaked
– Sesame oil, as needed
– 1/2 English cucumber, julienned
– 1/2 cup fresh mint, chiffonade (rolled and sliced into ribbons)
– 1/2 cup fresh chives, thinly sliced
– Crab fat (optional)
– Togarashi spice (optional)
– Hard-boiled free-range egg (optional)
– 1/2 cup tahini
– 4 tbsp soy sauce
– 1/4 cup water
– 2 tbsp gochujang
– 1 tbsp sriracha
– 1 tsp dried chili flakes
– 1 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
– Freshly ground black pepper
What you’ll need to do:
1. Cook the noodles according to packaged directions. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
2. In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and whisk to combine. You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge. It will, however, thicken and set so add water to thin it out (I added about an extra 1/2 cup of water since I prepared mine ahead of time).
3. Toss the noodles with the sauce and finish it off with assorted toppings.
4. Serve cold or hot. Makes 4-6 servings.