Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles
Noodles dressed with sesame are popular in many parts of China, but this particular style, made with peanut butter and served cold, became a Chinese-American staple in the United States in the 1970s. The family of Shorty Tang — an ambitious restaurateur who emigrated from Sichuan to Taipei to New York — firmly believes that he invented the dish and still serve it at Hwa Yuan, the restaurant he opened in 1967 in Manhattan’s Chinatown. They have never divulged the exact recipe; this is our own lush but refreshing version.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound noodles, frozen or (preferably) fresh
- 2tablespoons sesame oil, plus a splash
- 3 ½tablespoons soy sauce
- 2tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
- 2tablespoons Chinese sesame paste
- 1tablespoon smooth peanut butter
- 1tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 2teaspoons minced garlic
- 2teaspoons chile-garlic paste, chile crisp or chile oil, or to taste
- Half a cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch by 1/8-inch by 2-inch sticks
- ¼cup chopped roasted peanuts
Step 1Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until barely tender, about 5 minutes. They should retain a hint of chewiness. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and toss with a splash of sesame oil.
Step 2In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame paste, peanut butter, sugar, ginger, garlic and chili-garlic paste.
Step 3Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish with cucumber and peanuts.