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Longevity Noodles

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • One 16-oz package of thin spaghetti

Dressing

  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup of peanut oil
  • ½ cups of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of chili oil optional if you want your noodles spicy
  • 1 large knob of fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
  • 6 garlic cloves finely minced or grated on a microplane
  • 2 Tbls of black sesame seeds

Optional Toppings

  • Protein: cooked shrimp, poached and shredded chicken breast, tofu cubes or grilled beef and/or pork
  • Vegetables: charred or raw bokchoired and yellow peppers, cucumbers, pea shoots, edamame, peas, radishes, baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, or any micro greens.
  • Herbs and other toppings: sliced scallions or chives, roasted peanuts or cashews, cilantro, or parsley.

Instructions

  • Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a non-reactive jar with a tight lid and shake vigorously to combine.
  • Bring a large pot of cold water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente.
  • Drain and return the noodles to the pot. Add half of the dressing and toss to combine. Cover loosely with a clean towel and set aside for at least 1 hour and up to 3. This is an important step: the pasta needs time to absorb the liquid dressing for this dish to work, so plan accordingly!
  • Toast the sesame seeds in a clean skillet over medium heat until they begin to smoke. Remove from heat and let them cool down. Add to the noodles with half of the remaining dressing and toss again to combine. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. You can prepare the noodles a day in advance and refrigerate them once they have achieved room temperature.
  • Just before you are ready to serve the noodles, add whatever you like from the Toppings Ingredients for the combination that most appeals to you! Add the remaining dressing if needed.

Notes

*Debate rages in my family about the correct consistency and type of noodle.  I vigorously defend using a thin spaghetti (#11 or #12) as I am convinced that angel hair is far too thin and linguine too flat to reach the desired consistency.  While this recipe can work with soba or rice noodles, I find the best results are achieved using plain old supermarket pasta.  To hone this recipe, I used Barilla, which does a great job in absorbing the dressing to create the desired slippery consistency.