I posted a couple of weeks back on a Cold Sesame with Cilantro and Scallion Noodles. As I LOVE cilantro, that noodle dish is just perfect for me and I can't get enough of them. However, I have one girlfriend who is not keen on cilantro - and by not keen, I mean, she can't stand it. I think she's nuts for not liking it but I respect her for being very quiet about her dislike of cilantro and have watched her slowly, methodically, piece by piece take out cilantro when it made an appearance in her meal. She often looks at my blog and asks, "Can such and such dish be made without cilantro?" and I'll respond, ""Yes, but it won't taste that good."
As she was coming to a dinner party at our house, I wanted her to enjoy the noodle dish, but felt like merely taking out the cilantro wouldn't be as tasty. I wanted to up the flavor but leave out the cilantro and this is what I created. Her husband LOVED it, and kept on going back and forth between this version and the cilantro version. To up the flavor, I decided the addition of chili pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger would add enough so that cilantro wouldn't be missed. I essentially changed the flavors of the dish and made something new. It was a delicious noodle salad, and I think that from now on, when I have a bigger event to cook for I'll make both versions so that those who do not like cilantro can still have some cold sesame noodles. This is great with any grilled meats, salmon, or would make a great addition to an outdoor picnic or potluck.
Ginger Garlic Sesame Noodles
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
1/2 cup thinly chopped green onions
1 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced or grated
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your eating audience)
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, in the same pot (make sure it's dry) you cooked your noodles, over VERY low heat heat mix honey, vegetable oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red chili pepper flakes. This is to help melt the honey to incorporate it. Remove from heat.
3. Dump pasta into the pot. Pour dressing all over pasta. Toss together scallions and sesame seeds. Place into your serving bowl or storage container. Cover and chill for a few hours.
4. If adding options, add them before serving to ensure crisp vegetables.
A yummy bite of noodles!