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Asian Sesame Noodles

By October 13, 2011September 19th, 2019Cuisine, Uncategorized

The Moscovore extended family (on my side anyway) could possibly die of malnutrition without this particular recipe.


The origins are lost in the mists of time, though family legend leans towards the idea that my Aunt Julie came up with it, or liked it.  She was not alone.  Her mother, the venerable Franny (1908-2010) adored them, and always asked for them after any medical procedure, which smelt up the post op atmosphere something fierce, thereby ensuring Franny’s prompt departure from the hospital and back to venues that support ideas like cocktail hour.

We used to call these Oriental Noodres, but then we learned that this handle was only for carpets so now we call them Asian Noodres.

Everyone in the extended  Moscovore family loves these.   They are great for picnics, brown bags, buffet lunches, or just as a thing you keep in the fridge to nosh on because there aren’t any earnest Chinese people delivering warm bags of bad food.   I miss that, but in the end of the day — this is better than what they bring, doesn’t give you so much heartburn and, depending on how savvy you are about sourcing the ingredients, could possibly be cheaper.

Asian/Sesame Noodles


  • 75 ml (1/3-cup) soy sauce
  • 75 ml (1/3-cup) rice vinegar (try to find the rice vinegar as it makes a more compelling taste. If you can’t however, substitute red wine vinegar and up your ginger.)
  • 75 ml (1/3-cup) Peanut oil combined with sesame oil
  • 1 thumb or 2 heaped tablespoon fresh ginger (peeled and grated )
  • 5 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed or chopped)
  • 500 g (1-1/4 lb) thin, long pasta such as angel hair or spaghettini
  • 1 bunch scallions (thinly diced)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 of each: yellow, orange or red peppers (cored, and diced into small cubes)
  • 60 ml (1/4-cup) sesame seeds (black) (toasted on a hot non-skillet until they pop)
  • 1 of each: yellow, orange or red peppers (cored, and diced into small cubes)
  • 60 ml (1/4-cup) black sesame seeds (toasted briefly in a non-stick pan until they begin to pop)

Optional Ingredients

  • 300 g (11 oz) poached chicken breasts, shredded off the bone (if you want to add this ingredient to make the dish more of a main dish, be sure to add it just before serving: ginger and garlic eat away at chicken during a marinade process. )
  • 2 cucumbers (peeled, seeded and diced into small cubes.)
  • 200 g (7 oz) snow peas (blanched)


  1. Combine soy sauce, oil, and vinegar liquids into a large jar with a lid. Shake to combine. Add the grated ginger and garlic, and shake again. Set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water. Drain, then return the pasta to the pot. Pour the sauce onto the pasta and set aside. Allow at least 1 hour, better 2, for the pasta to absorb the liquid. I usually make half again as much to reintroduce when I toss the final ingredients.
  3. After the pasta has absorbed the sauce, toss the pasta with the peppers, cilantro, sesame seeds, scallions as well as any of the optional ingredients you’ve decided to include.
  4. Serve at Room Temperature


The sauce combination can be made ahead and kept in a tight-lidded jar in the fridge for quite a while.

If you are hankering after the sesame noodles you got from the Chinese delivery people in London or NYC, the thing to do is to add 3 Tablespoons of peanut butter or Tahini to the sauce and wisk them together in a food processor or mixer to combine.  This will make a much more viscous sauce that will stick more firmly to the pasta, instead of the base recipe, which combines slippery and crunchy.  This is up to you.  Both ways are good.  I like to introduce some chopped peanuts if I go for the stickier/peanut butter version.

Serve and enjoy!


  • Jane says:

    So good to get this recipe from you, as they were delicious at your Summer BBQ!

    • jennifer says:

      Jane, thanks for logging on and I’m so pleased you liked these! Everyone always asks for the recipe as they really are a universal favorite!

  • Alison Buttenheim says:

    Word up. These are the best.

  • sveta says:

    thank you Jennifer. Mary Lee told me about your site and im a constant visitor here since…. i am russian/ i learn english/ i am a fan of cooking and your site seems so unusual and interesting to me..after i have been to some others.
    i like chinese and japanese food, for 3 years i have been learning their recipies. i make a similar recipe but with buckwheat noodles i love them very much. i make the sauce from soy sauce and sesame oil( fried- the color black- this one has got a stronger flavour). i like to fry the noodles a lil bit in this fried sesame oil, adding soy sauce and fried sesame seeds. separately i fry chinese black mushrooms( which grow on the trees- here in moscow you can buy them DRIED on the markets from korean people who sell salads) fry them in the same sauce with much sesame seeds and then put together them and noodles.

    • jennifer says:

      Dear Sveta:
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for your ideas about the buckwheat noodles — I love the thought of black mushrooms! Must give those a try the next time I get a Chinese urge!
      I think your English is fantastic — I can speak Russian fluently, but am so lazy about typing it! I am pleased you enjoy the site and I hope you will come back often!

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