You are in for a treat. I absolutely love these cold sesame noodles and they are such a fun spin on side dishes. They come together in a snap, are full of flavor, and because they are cold, they should be made ahead of time which is one less thing to think about at dinner time (or lunch!)
I have been making these for years now and it's always a great night when these are on the menu. I usually serve these alongside my Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, but they really are quite versatile. You can throw in a quick protein like chicken or shrimp and have a tasty lunch or dinner. Toss in some veggies for a vegetarian dish that is packed with bright flavors. Or just eat a whole bowl of them as they are because they're that good.
Another bonus to these being COLD noodles, is they are great for lunch. Make a batch of them and portion them out for a few lunches during the week. Add in some veggies and/or protein for a light, balanced, but out of this world delicious, easy lunch option for the week.
I use noodles from a brand called Ka-Me (see photo below), specifically their "fresh stir-fry" noodles (any shape). I like them because they are fresh, but also vacuum-sealed so they last on my shelf for a while. If you can find them, Chinese long-life noodles are a superb option. I used to be able to find fresh long-life noodles in my grocery store, but they stopped carrying them so I had a lot of trial and error finding a replacement. The Ka-Me brand as been my go-to for several years now. If you can't find them, regular spaghetti works or even ramen noodles.
A note: trust me on the COLD part. They are so much better cold. I tried eating them warm once because I made them last minute and they just aren't as good. They need about 2 hours in the fridge to cool down enough. You can make these in the morning before work or even the night before. Just cover the bowl in plastic wrap or put them in a tupperware container until you're ready to eat.
I can't wait for you to try these delicious noodles. I have a feeling you'll be adding them to your dinner rotation after the first bite.
Cold Sesame-Ginger Noodles
(Makes ~ 4 side servings)
Prep time: 10 minutes | Idle time: 2+ hours
Click below to download and print the recipe
15-16 oz. Asian noodles, such as udon or hokkien (see photo above)*
1/4 C. low sodium soy sauce
2 TB + 1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger**
2 TB + 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 thinly sliced scallions (whites and light green parts)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 TB toasted sesame seeds***
In a medium to large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and sesame oil. Add the scallions and red pepper flakes and stir to combine.
Cook the noodles according to package instructions. If using the Ka-Me noodles, follow the microwave instructions.
Carefully transfer the hot noodles to the bowl with the soy sauce mixture and using tongs, toss to fully coat the noodles in the sauce.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, tossing occasionally if possible to make sure the noodles are evenly absorbing the sauce.
When ready to serve, sprinkle in the sesame seeds and toss the noodles a final time to evenly distribute the seeds.
Serve up as a side or throw in veggies/protein for a full meal. Enjoy!
*Recipe notes + Variations*
*Each package of the Ka-Me noodles has 2 vacuum-sealed pouches of noodles in them. I use both to get the 4 servings. Leftovers are excellent, so I never shy away from making too much for 2 people.
**Ginger trick! I buy bigger pieces of ginger and keep them in my freezer. Not only does this keep the ginger good for longer, but it actually makes grating it so much easier. Just pull out a piece and grate it using a microplane. Put back whatever you didn't use and it's still good for next time!
***You can buy sesame seeds already toasted, but if they are not, just put them in a dry pan on the stove over medium-low heat. The seeds will toast up in just a few minutes. Make sure to keep your eye on them and shake the pan occasionally. They will seem like they aren't toasting at all them suddenly they will turn. Pull them off the heat before they are a deep brown color because they can burn really quickly. Transfer to a plate or small bowl to cool. You'll want to get them off any sort of heat source, ie: the hot pan, ASAP because they will continue to cook)