Cold Sesame Noodles with Smoked Chicken

My husband and I like to try different types of sesame noodles when we go out --especially spicy ones. They are traditionally made with ground sesame or peanut butter and lots of chile oil. Tahini is ground sesame, so I thought "Why not use an item I always have on hand in my pantry to make noodles with actual ground sesame sauce?" I hope you enjoy this fun take on takeout noodles as much as we loved cooking and eating it.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Bring a pot with 3 to 4 quarts water to a boil for ramen or thin spaghetti. If using thin spaghetti, you'll need baking soda as well (see Cook's Note). Ramen does not require salt to be added into water.
  2. Take 4 scallions and trim, cut into thirds and slice lengthwise; put in ice cold water to curl the scallions. Thinly slice the remainder of the 2 bunches on a bias and reserve.
  3. For dressing, in a food processor, combine tahini paste, shoyu or soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, mirin, toasted sesame oil, ginger, garlic, chili paste or sauce and light brown sugar. Process sauce until smooth and add a splash of bottled or filtered water if necessary to thin--sauce should be creamy but pourable. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Drop ramen or pasta into boiling water and cook ramen 4 minutes (thin spaghetti about 6 minutes). Drain and cold rinse, then drain again. Toss ramen with sauce, sliced scallions, three-quarters of the cucumbers and three-quarters of the chicken. Drain scallion curls. Arrange noodles in shallow bowls and top with scallion curls, remaining chicken and cucumbers, lots of sesame seeds and a few dollops of chili paste if desired.

Cook’s Note

For a ramen fake-out, add 2 tablespoons baking soda to 3 quarts boiling water to cook 12 ounces of thin spaghetti. The alkalized water will allow the spaghetti to mimic the chew and texture of ramen for this recipe. On a rubber or meat-safe cutting board, pull rotisserie chicken, white and dark meat, discarding bones and skin; if using smoked chicken or plant-based chicken, remove from the package and thinly slice. Reserve in a small bowl.

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Andrew Zimmern

Cold Sesame Noodles

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