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Chinese Peanut-Sesame Noodles

Chinese Peanut-Sesame Noodles

As a child in the early 1970s, I couldn't get enough of the cold peanut-sesame noodles I first tried at the famous Uncle Tai's Hunan Yuan restaurant in New York City. The dish is now one of Noah's favorites. I've found that kids adore its peanut butter goodness, while parents are pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to make.

Serves: 4 to 6

Hands-on Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes



  • 1 pound Chinese or other thin egg noodles
  • 1 cup julienned cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro sprigs


  • 2 tablespoons ground sesame paste or tahini
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or shoyu (I like the Japanese brand Yamasa)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted se same oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (a sweet Japanese rice wine)
  • 3 tablespoons water


Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain them, then rinse them in cold water until cooled. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Place all the sauce ingredients in a blender and pulse for a few seconds to combine them. Adjust the seasoning to taste, using more sugar for a sweeter dressing or more vinegar for a less oily one.

Combine the noodles and the sauce, then divide the noodles among four to six plates. Garnish each portion with the cucumber, sesame seeds, scallion, and cilantro.


Tahini and mirin can be found in the ethnic food section of many supermarkets.