You like these noodles cold. The colder the better. A perfect dinner for a hot summer night. But I think they are pretty tasty warm as well – mostly because I never have the patience to wait for the noodles and sauce to chill. I’m slurping away as soon as the sauce gets tossed in. Either way, they are slightly spicy, slightly sweet, and very nutty and satisfying. I know in your heart, you’ll always compare these to the cold sesame noodles from your favorite Asian diner in college. I don’t think I’ll ever win, but these come pretty darn close! (But then again, anything tastes good at 2AM to a college boy right?)
The ingredient list looks never-ending… but don’t be scared! I haven’t quite figured out how to change the formatting to stop double spacing every line break. That’s just me being lazy.
4 tablespoons sesame oil
1 red Thai chile or jalapeno chile chopped OR 1 tbsp chili oil
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of chopped ginger
½ cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup warm water
1 pound udon or soba noodles
Extra large shrimp, as many as you’d like to eat, marinated in a splash of soy sauce and rice wine
1 small zucchini, julienned
½ red bell pepper, julienned
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Toasted sesame seeds
Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Allow noodles to cool. You can do this far in advance and refrigerate if you like really cold noodles. But be sure to toss with 1 tbsp of sesame oil prior to cooling so they don’t stick together.
Saute first 4 ingredients in the sesame oil over medium heat until garlic is golden brown and fragrant. Garlic is easy to burn, so watch out! Let this cool for a few minutes. Then combine with the next 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Toss with noodles.
Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a sauté pan on high heat. Add shrimp and make sure they are in one layer, not overlapping. Then leave it! Don’t peek or turn them for a solid 1-2 minutes. You want a nice smoky char on each side. Flip ‘em over and leave them again on the high heat for another 1-2 minutes. Set them aside on a clean plate. Saute the pepper and zucchini until cooked but still crisp.
Serve the shrimp and vegetables on top of the cold sesame noodles. Top with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and scallion.
Adapted from a Tyler Florence recipe from “Tyler’s Ultimate”