Cold Sesame Noodles

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1/2 pound dried buckwheat (soba) noodles

9 tablespoons dark sesame oil

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife

2 garlic cloves, crushed with the side of a knife

1 red Thai bird chile, minced, seeds and all

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

6 tablespoons water, room temperature

1 tablespoon chili sauce

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish

2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and stir to keep them from sticking together. Cook until barely tender and still firm, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain immediately and rinse under cold running water to cool. Drain the noodles really well, transfer to a wide serving bowl, and toss immediately with 3 tablespoons of the sesame oil so they don't stick together.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a saucepan, heat 1/4 cup sesame oil over medium-low heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and chile. Cook, stirring for a minute, until the vegetables are soft and fragrant. Place into a blender along with the brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, hot water, chili sauce, and the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Puree and refrigerate until cold.
  3. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. (Shake the pan constantly to keep the seeds from burning). Put the noodles in a serving bowl and toss with the sesame sauce. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and green onions, and serve with the lime wedges.