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Deliciously Easy Chinese Sesame Noodles

Deliciously Easy Chinese Sesame Noodles

Easy Sesame Noodles are even better than takeout. They’re quick to make and have a short ingredient list.

low-angle shot of chinese sesame noodles on a black plate. Next to it is a blue and white serving bowl with sesame noodles in it. There is also a jar of chile crisp. The table is dark brown wood.

They are flavored with toasted sesame paste, toasted sesame oil, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and an optional dollop of chile crisp or chili oil. They are always a crowd-pleaser!

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This easy sesame noodles recipe takes just about 20 minutes to make. You can easily make it into a full meal by adding vegetables like broccoli or snap peas. You can even use a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables.

What ingredients do you need?

This recipe uses mostly pantry staples. I use ground pork, but you can substitute ground chicken or ground turkey, or even crumbled tofu.

You can also add vegetables if you like. I often add snap peas, shredded carrots, or broccoli. Here’s what you need for the basic recipe:

  • Ground pork, chicken, or turkey
  • Soy sauce
  • Chinese sesame paste (or substitute smooth peanut butter)
  • Chile oil, chili garlic sauce, chili oil with fermented black beans, or chile crisp (optional but highly recommended)
  • Sesame oil
  • Brown sugar
  • Cooking oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Noodles (use fresh ramen noodles, dried ramen noodles, fresh or dried Chinese wheat noodles, or spaghetti)
  • Roasted and salted peanuts
  • Green onions
uncooked fresh ramen noodles on a black plate

How do you make it?

Making Sesame Noodles is easier than ordering takeout.

  1. Stir together the sauce ingredients.
  2. Cook and drain noodles.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet and add ginger and garlic.
  4. Add the meat and brown it in the skillet.
  5. Add the sauce mixture to the meat and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat.
  6. Add the noodles to the skillet and toss to mix well.
  7. Serve hot, garnished with peanuts and scallions.

What kind of noodles should you use?

I love to make sesame noodles using fresh ramen noodles. Ramen noodles are alkalinized, which gives them a really nice chewiness.

I buy fresh ramen noodles at a Japanese market in my neighborhood. They are also available in larger Asian supermarkets.

If you don’t have fresh ramen noodles, you can substitute dried ramen noodles. These are also available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Or substitute regular spaghetti.

Can you make it vegetarian?

Yes! You can definitely make vegetarian sesame noodles. I like to add crumbled tofu in place of the ground pork. Freeze the tofu first to give it a meat-like texture.

overhead shot of chinese sesame noodles on a black plate. Next to it is a blue and white serving bowl with sesame noodles in it and a pair of wooden chopsticks resting on the edge. There is also a jar of chile crisp. The table is dark brown wood.

What is Chinese sesame paste?

Chinese sesame paste is a paste made from toasted sesame seeds. It is very flavorful and lusher in consistency than tahini, which is made from raw or very lightly toasted sesame seeds.

You can buy Chinese sesame paste in Asian markets, some supermarkets, or online.

If you don’t have Chinese sesame paste you can substitute Japanese sesame paste, which is similar. Or use tahini or smooth all-natural peanut butter with an extra teaspoon of sesame oil.

Can you serve it cold?

Yes! The “original” sesame noodles were served cold. Cold sesame noodles were, by most accounts, invented by New York restaurateur Shorty Tang.

Tang first made cold sesame noodles at his Manhattan Chinatown restaurant Hwa Yuan in the late 1960s.

Since then they’ve become a staple at Sichuan-style American Chinese restaurants.

Can you add vegetables to make it a one-pot meal?

Yes! What I do is to stir-fry the vegetables in a bit of oil first. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and then cook the ginger, garlic, and meat as directed in the recipe. Add the vegetables back to the skillet when you add the sauce.

Add small broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, green beans, snap peas, shredded carrots, sliced celery, or diced bell peppers.

overhead shot of chinese sesame noodles on a black plate. Next to it is a blue and white serving bowl with sesame noodles in it and a pair of wooden chopsticks resting on the edge. There is also a jar of chile crisp. The table is dark brown wood.

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Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Sesame Noodles

low-angle shot of chinese sesame noodles on a black plate. Next to it is a blue and white serving bowl with sesame noodles in it. There is also a jar of chile crisp. The table is dark brown wood.

Sesame noodles are quick and easy to make. Flavored with toasted sesame paste, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger, they are a real crowd-pleaser.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste
  • 2 tablespoons (or more, to taste) chile oil with fermented black beans or chile crisp
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • Kosher salt
  • 10 ounces fresh ramen noodles or 6 ounces dried ramen noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped roasted and salted peanuts
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sesame paste, chile oil or chile crisp, sesame oil, brown sugar, and water and mix well.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir once before stirring in the meat. Season with salt and cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, until cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the sauce mixture to the skillet with the meat and stir to combine. Add the noodles to the skillet and toss to coat well with the sauce.
  4. Serve garnished with scallions and peanuts.

Notes

If you don’t have fresh ramen noodles, you can substitute dried ramen noodles. These are also available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Or substitute regular spaghetti.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 488Total Fat 32gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 71mgSodium 680mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 2gSugar 5gProtein 25g
Pinterest pin for sesame noodles. Top image is an overhead shot of sesame noodles on a black plate on a wooden table. Text says better than takeout sesame noodles www.allwaysdelicious.com. Bottom photo is a low-angle shot of sesame noodles on a black plate.
Pinterest pin for sesame noodles. Top image is an overhead shot of sesame noodles on a black plate on a wooden table. Text says better than takeout sesame noodles www.allwaysdelicious.com. Bottom photo is a low-angle shot of sesame noodles on a black plate.
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