Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sesame Noodles with Cilantro and Scallions: Better as it goes along

In light of summer's arrival, I thought it appropriate to search out an easy pasta salad that could be chilled and done ahead of time - and I thought of these sesame noodles. I've tried quite a few versions, including creamy ones done with peanut butter, but since Daughter #2 suffers from a peanut allergy, as do many other children, I decided that I needed to find something that was less likely to put Daughter or other children into the hospital. I've also tried a creamy version with tahini but wasn't entirely thrilled with that either. I wanted something lighter, cooler and more refreshing. I spent a bit of time fiddling with the proportions in the dressing, because I was seeking that perfect balance of salty, sweet and tart. This is one of the salads that tastes better after chilling in the fridge, so make it ahead, and relax. This would be perfect with any grilled meats or a part of any potluck.


Sesame Noodles with Cilantro and Scallions
Dressing
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I like canola)
2 tablespoons sesame oil (100% sesame oil - I prefer Kadoya brand)
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

The Rest
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup thinly chopped green onions
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Pepper to taste -if you have only adults eating, then you can also you red pepper flakes to kick up the heat
8 oz thin spaghetti or angel hair (I recommend getting Barilla's whole wheat thin spaghetti as it has enough bite to withstand the marination in dressing)
Salt for boiling the noodles

Optional Additions (choose one or more)
1/4 cup carrots, julienne
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup cucumber, julienne
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1 cup baby spinach

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. (don't forget to salt the water.) Drain pasta, but do not rinse.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat in a microwave bowl or a saucepan, honey, vegetable oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and pepper (or red pepper). This is to help melt the honey to incorporate it. (I generally just mix this up in the same pot as I had cooked the noodles - and save a dish from washing.)

3. Pour dressing all over pasta. Toss together and then add cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds. Cover and chill for a few hours.

4. If adding options, add them before serving to ensure crisp vegetables.

Printable recipe

19 comments:

Christina Kim said...

This looks so refreshing! And it has all my favorite flavors, especially the cilantro and the honey.

Marta said...

I like how you made this without the peanuts but still preserved the flavour and richness. this looks perfect for summer! I'm loving it :)

RevJen said...

Do you use regular sesame oil or toasted sesame oil?

Joanne Choi said...

toasted sesame oil - I prefer Japanese or Korean toasted 100% sesame oils for full richness of flavor.

Mom's Fortress of Solitude said...

This looks absolutely divine! I'm definitely adding this to my shopping list for quick summer meals.

Love your blog!

Angela

Kevin said...

These sesame noodles sound really good!

Joanne Choi said...

I hope you all have had a chance to make the noodles and found it yummy and simple.

Nicci said...

Made this last night. So easy and so delicious. The whole family loved them.

Anne Klein said...

This was a huge hit! Now, I used shrimp, green beans, carrots, red pepper strips. My husband is begging for me to make it again soon. In fact we picked up two more bags of shrimp today at Dillon's. LOL

Oh, I used Tamari for the first time and loved it!

Marshallow Treats said...

I make a similar salad with SOBA noodles. Very healthful and delicious.

Afi said...

so say if u add the carrots and the bell peppers, dont u have to saute them or anything? just add it to the final preparation???

Joanne Choi said...

Afi - no need to saute the veggies...it would be a crunchy addition to the noodles and still cold. They would get lightly wilted with the dressing and marination but would still be crunch.

Afi said...

i just finished making them now. its really yummy. thank you for this wonderful recipe. its a keeper! I did grind the peanuts b4 putiing them on the top though. gr8 recipe!

Sarah said...

Wonderful recipe! Made this for dinner witih soba noodles and broccoli and red onions. Simple and delicious, perfect for a weeknight dinner. Great blog!

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Julie said...

My only suggestion for these noodles is to make 1lb - 8 oz is never enough - I always double this recipe :)! Bringing it to a cookout tonight - sure it will be a hit! -Julie

ashley said...

just made it for lunch today. yummy!! thanks for the recipe.

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