Noodles · Pasta · Peanutbutter

Sesame Noodles

As I mentioned in this post yesterday, my kids love Sesame Noodles.  And my husband has his own recipe for them, which is not written down and does not use actual measurements or anything.  He just wings it. 

But way back when, the first recipe we used for Sesame Noodles came from a bargain book called Classic Oriental Dishes, edited by Lisa Dyer, that we bought around 10 years ago or so.  And since my husband has a bad sore throat and shouldn't be talking anyway, I'll post the recipe from this book instead of his version, simply because any recipe that has EXCELLENT!!! scrawled a the top of the page – and the date we first made it – 1/23/1998 (okay, 9 years ago – it'll be exactly nine years next Wednesday, in fact!  Happy Anniversary, Sesame Noodles recipe page!) has to be worth sharing.

The recipe is actually Sesame Hot Noodles – but you can leave out the heat if you'd rather.  Bill makes non-spicy noodles for the kids, and then we add our own heat to it separately. 

Here's what you need:

OH – wait, before I give you the recipe, I have to share this little moment with you.  Way back when we were still living in our tiny converted summer cottage and cooking all kinds of great things in our tiny kitchen (which I should tell you about because it's like no other kitchen I've ever experienced), including Sesame Noodles, we also used to go out to eat a lot because it was fun, no dishes to clean up (it was a VERY tiny kitchen), and we didn't have kids, so we had lots of options as to WHERE to go.  Plus, having no kids, we had money, and yeah, we should have been saving it, but we were younger and foolisher and so we at out.  Plus, we'd eat out, and then try to duplicate recipes at home, so it was actually RESEARCH.  Can we agree on that?  Okay, good. 

So anyway, there was one good Chinese restaurant near our house, and one that was, um, how do I say this nicely?…..a dump.  It was mainly a cheap place for locals to go and have Tiki cocktails in the dark bar and then stagger home.  Which is all well and good…but still.  I think either they changed ownership or the current owners decided they wanted some new clients…but anyway, suddenly some work was done on the place and word spread that it was now a Chinese Restaurant Worth Going To.  And naturally, we went.

I don't remember what meals we ordered.  Or how they were.  I just remember that we ordered Sesame Noodles as an appetizer.  Cool!  They have Sesame Noodles!  We love Sesame Noodles!  Let's see how theirs are!  So we ordered them, and probably some other appetizer to split, and waited.  The dining room had been spruced up – the booths were nicer, there were pictures on the wall…the lighting was a bit bright, but maybe that was to prove that they weren't JUST a dark bar with Tiki drinks.  (That part seemed unchanged.)

So anyway…we are sitting there, eagerly awaiting our Sesame Noodles.  And then – here she comes!  Here comes the waitress with the platter!  And with a smile, she set the oval platter down between us and went on her way.  Bill and I stared.

The platter held a decent mound of noodles…and I believe they had been tossed with some kind of thin, dark brown watery sauce (like soy or something) – but the best part, oh the VERY best part, was the big smear of peanutbutter (Skippy or Jif – one of those kinds of peanutbutter) across the top of the noodles.  And I believe they may have sprinkled a couple of sesame seeds on top.

A BIG SMEAR OF PEANUTBUTTER.  That was it.  That was our exotic taste of the Orient that night.  Peanutbutter on spaghetti. 

The follwing recipe is much better.

You will need:

2  8 oz packages of medium egg noodles.  (We've also found that Barilla Spaghetti Rigati works really well, too.)

3 T sunflower oil (or any other vegetable oil.  Not olive.)

2 T sesame oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 T smooth peanutbutter

1 small fresh green chili, deseeded and very finely chopped

3 T toasted sesame seeds

4 T light soy sauce

1-2 T lime juice

salt and pepper (to taste)

4 T chopped fresh cilantro

Okay, once you've got all that assembled, here's what you do –

1.  Place the noodles in a large pan of boiling water, then immediately remove from the heat.  Cover and let stand for 6 minutes, stirring once half way through.  At the end of the 6 minutes, the noodles will be perfectly cooked.  Otherwise, follow directions on the package.

2.  Meanwhile, mix the sunflower and sesame oils with the garlic and peanutbutter until smooth. 

3.  Add the chilis, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and the lime juice according to taste, and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.

4.  Drain the noodles well, them place in a large heated serving bowl.  Add the peanut dressing and fresh cilantro, and toss well to mix.  Serve immediately.

And that's all you do.  Pretty simple, huh?  And way better then just a smear of peanutbutter….

2 thoughts on “Sesame Noodles

  1. Greetings from the Middle East!

    My guess is that the peanut butter is a stand-in for tahini/tahina – the sesame paste that is used throughout Asia and North Africa.

    We mix PB and raw tahina (if you let the tahina can/jar stand in the pantry, you can carefully pour off the layer of clear sesame oil and save it for stir frying – it needs to be heated up to get that “toasted sesame” flavor).

    Got to you by searching for a recipe for Florentine cookies – there is a way to make them in the microwave (which is great for caramelizing sugar mixtures) but unfortunately my copy of Barbara Kafka’s Microwave Gourmet was discarded by my wife.

    I really like your idea of chilling and slicing the disks of dough.

  2. Hello Ben-David,


    We actually do use tahini from time to time in combination with the peanutbutter – thanks for reminding me!

Leave a Reply