Quick Sesame Noodles

A very child-friendly dish, good for quick weekend lunches or those “I don’t feel like cooking” dinners. I encourage you to play with the type of noodles used – thin, thick, round, flat, just about anything goes, even (in a pinch) spaghetti/linguine/fettucine! If you can find fresh noodles or pasta, that works really well. Only have instant noodles? Toss out the seasoning packet and use the noodles. The toppings are optional but make it a complete meal – you can usually prepare them while the noodles cook.

ingredients:

  • 1 lb noodles

dressing:

  • 1/4 c sesame oil
  • 1/4 c dark soy sauce
  • 1 T black vinegar (apple cider vinegar would be okay here)
  • 1 T sugar – brown or raw cane sugar is best
  • 2 tsp salt – kosher is best

toppings to taste:

  • 1 ea Persian cucumber (other types will do just fine, too)
  • 10 oz fresh spinach (if you only have frozen, that is fine – thaw it and squeeze it out well, no need to cook)
  • 2 ea large eggs (preferably pastured!)

garnish:

  • 2 ea scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 T sesame seeds, black and/or white, lightly toasted until fragrant

method:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, pour some of the water into a smaller pot for cooking the spinach, then add the noodles to the large pot. Cook according to package directions, OR for Chinese noodles, let the water come back to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.Add 1 c cold water, return to a rolling boil. Repeat the process until you’ve added a total of 3 c of cold water. The next time the water boils, taste a noodle – they should be done. You don’t want the al dente feel of an Italian pasta here – there should be no chewiness left.
  2. While the noodles cook, combine dressing ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Cut the cucumber into matchsticks.
  4. Drop the spinach into the smaller pot of boiling water, shock it in ice water, squeeze it out and cut into shreds.
  5. Scramble the eggs, cook in a saute or omelet pan over low heat without stirring until set, flip carefully, cook briefly, then remove to a cutting board and slice into strips. (This is one of the rare instances where I recommend using a non-stick pan!)
  6. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking and remove any starch that would make them sticky, then drain well.
  7. Combine the noodles with the dressing, add the toppings, garnish, and serve.

do ahead:

If this is not a last-minute meal, it actually improves with refrigeration, making it a great picnic or potluck item. Chill the dressed noodles overnight, then add topping and garnish at the last minute.

variation:

If you like spicy noodles, add chopped salted chilies to taste at the table, or add chili paste (such as sriracha) to taste to the dressing mixture, starting with 1 T.

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2 Responses

  1. my mom used to make this for me all the time as a child! i ate it with sliced kimchee or fermented cucumbers. DELISH! =) I think I’ll make this right now! =)

  2. I’m printing this out–again!. We make it for every party. Tomorrow is Enni’s 5th Birthday, and as usual, we’re prepping at 1 am.

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