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I made this a couple of days ago and so far it's the best cold sesame noodles recipe I've ever made. I got this from Patricia Yeo's Cooking from A to Z cookbook. Below is the exact recipe from her book, here are my substitutions. I bought toasted sesame seeds, so the first step can be skipped. I didn't have peanut oil, so I just used vegetable oil and it tasted fine. I will try it with peanut oil next time, though. I used grated carrots and cucumbers instead of snow peas, red bell pepper and daikon radish because those two vegetable are what I normally put in this type of dish and it's easier! I also used dry Chinese egg noodles instead of fresh.
For the dressing
- 3⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 7 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 large shallot, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (to taste)
- 1⁄4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
For the noodles
- 12 -16 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles, thin fresh pasta or 12 -16 ounces long thin fresh pasta
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 cup snow peas, blanched in boiling water and thinly sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 cup thinly sliced daikon radishes or 1 cup cucumber
- 1 cup whole cilantro leaf
- 1⁄2 cup chopped peanuts
- 1 cup thinly sliced scallion, cut on the diagonal into long ovals
- Up to 2 days before you plan to serve, make the dressing:
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the sesame seeds out on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once. Immediately remove the seeds from the baking sheet (they can burn very quickly). When cool, transfer to a blender.
- Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool slightly and add to the sesame seeds in the blender.
- Add the remaining 6 tablespoons peanut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and sambal oelek, and blend at high speed just until a thick paste forms. Stop blending as soon as most of the seeds have broken up; over processing will pulverize all the seeds and make the sauce too oily. (The recipe can be made up to this point and kept refrigerated up to 2 days.).
- The same day you plan to serve, make the noodles: Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. Gently separate the noodles with your hands and add to the water. Cook until tender (after the water returns to a boil, it will take anywhere from 10 seconds for very thin Chinese noodles to 3 minutes for Italian pasta). Drain the noodles and cool them under cold running water. Drain well. Transfer the cold noodles to a large bowl and toss with the peanut oil.
- When ready to serve, remove the dressing from the refrigerator and drain off any oil that has collected on the top. Whisk in about 3/4 cup water to thin the dressing and make it creamy; whisk in more a little at a time as needed. Taste for soy sauce, adding more if needed. Whisk in the chopped cilantro. Pour about half of the dressing over the noodles. Add the snow peas, red pepper, and daikon, and toss well to combine (using your hands is easiest). Add the rest of the dressing and finish tossing. Transfer to a large serving bowl or individual plates, garnish with the cilantro leave, peanuts, and scallions, and serve immediately.
Great noodles! The sauce is a perfect blend of flavors! The only part where I strayed from the recipe was to leave out the snap peas and substitute baby corn. I know it's not nearly the same, but we can't get snap peas here at all! I also left out the peanuts, because I can't eat them. Regardless, it's a very good salad, and very versatile. I think you could throw any number of veggies in and have it taste great. I imagine carrots would have been very good. Also need to mention that the daikon radish in this dish was perfect - I never would have thought to put that in. Thanks for posting! Made for My 3 Chefs 2013. Note: forgot to garnish before taking pic, I'll try to post another with the leftovers...