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Spicy sesame peanut noodles

Ling’s lunchtimes are now at the whim of a small child, so she has learned the indispensable skill of making lunch as fast as possible. And these noodles are fast—coming together in less than 10 minutes—and rely on just a few pantry staples. Unbeaten for speed and convenience, the noodles still taste complex thanks to the way the creamy, nutty sauce plays off the earthy heat of chilli oil. Topping it with sharp, crunchy pickled cucumber adds a grace note to round it all out.

Spicy sesame peanut noodles

by Ling Low

Ling’s lunchtimes are now at the whim of a small child, so she has learned the indispensable skill of making lunch as fast as possible. And these noodles are fast—coming together in less than 10 minutes—and rely on just a few pantry staples. Unbeaten for speed and convenience, the noodles still taste complex thanks to the way the creamy, nutty sauce plays off the earthy heat of chilli oil. Topping it with sharp, crunchy pickled cucumber adds a grace note to round it all out.

Servings: 2

Prep time: Quick

Servings: 2

Prep time: Quick

FOR THE NOODLES & SAUCE

2 nests dried wheat noodles

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp chilli flakes in oil (eg Lao Gan Ma)

Salt to taste

FOR THE CUCUMBERS

½ Japanese cucumber

2 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

1-2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

  1. Slice the cucumber into thin rounds, about 2-3mm thick. Place the sliced cucumbers in a bowl and drizzle over the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds. Mix and set aside.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions.
  3. While the noodles cook, mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl: peanut butter, sesame oil, and chilli oil. Add salt to taste.
  4. Drain the cooked noodles and return them to the pot. Stir through the mixed sauce until the noodles are well coated.
  5. Transfer the noodles to two bowls to serve. Remove the cucumber slices from the vinegar liquid and add them to the top of the noodles. Garnish with more sesame seeds.

Tips

  • If you find that the sauce is too sticky after coating the noodles, add 1-2 tbsp warm water and stir it through the noodles and sauce to get a silkier sauce. For best results, reserve some of the cooking water as you drain the noodles for this purpose.
  • The noodles can be enjoyed as is, or with toppings such as a boiled egg, shredded carrot, crunchy bean sprouts, cooked chicken, chopped avocado, fresh coriander, sliced spring onions—the possibilities are endless.
  • Depending on the chilli oil used, the oil may already include salt and other seasonings. Lao Gan Ma includes both salt and MSG, so salt may not be needed.
  • Toasted sesame seeds can be kept in a dry, airtight container for several weeks. Make extra and keep them aside to garnish other dishes. To make: take 3 tbsp of sesame seeds and add them to a dry pan on medium-high heat. When they start to become golden, toss them around so they toast on all sides. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Store them in a container when they are cool.
  • Ling uses dried, thin wheat noodles for this recipe. She usually goes for Vit’s Mi Kering (Air Dried Noodles) or Cintan Mi Tanpa Goreng (Non Fried Noodles). However, most plain ‘instant’ noodles or dried pan mee varieties can be used. Just avoid noodles like mee sua, which are used for soup.

Ingredients

FOR THE NOODLES & SAUCE

2 nests dried wheat noodles

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp chilli flakes in oil (eg Lao Gan Ma)

Salt to taste

FOR THE CUCUMBERS

½ Japanese cucumber

2 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

1-2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Slice the cucumber into thin rounds, about 2-3mm thick. Place the sliced cucumbers in a bowl and drizzle over the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds. Mix and set aside.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions.
  3. While the noodles cook, mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl: peanut butter, sesame oil, and chilli oil. Add salt to taste.
  4. Drain the cooked noodles and return them to the pot. Stir through the mixed sauce until the noodles are well coated.
  5. Transfer the noodles to two bowls to serve. Remove the cucumber slices from the vinegar liquid and add them to the top of the noodles. Garnish with more sesame seeds.

Tips

  • If you find that the sauce is too sticky after coating the noodles, add 1-2 tbsp warm water and stir it through the noodles and sauce to get a silkier sauce. For best results, reserve some of the cooking water as you drain the noodles for this purpose.
  • The noodles can be enjoyed as is, or with toppings such as a boiled egg, shredded carrot, crunchy bean sprouts, cooked chicken, chopped avocado, fresh coriander, sliced spring onions—the possibilities are endless.
  • Depending on the chilli oil used, the oil may already include salt and other seasonings. Lao Gan Ma includes both salt and MSG, so salt may not be needed.
  • Toasted sesame seeds can be kept in a dry, airtight container for several weeks. Make extra and keep them aside to garnish other dishes. To make: take 3 tbsp of sesame seeds and add them to a dry pan on medium-high heat. When they start to become golden, toss them around so they toast on all sides. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Store them in a container when they are cool.
  • Ling uses dried, thin wheat noodles for this recipe. She usually goes for Vit’s Mi Kering (Air Dried Noodles) or Cintan Mi Tanpa Goreng (Non Fried Noodles). However, most plain ‘instant’ noodles or dried pan mee varieties can be used. Just avoid noodles like mee sua, which are used for soup.

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© Copyright Periuk 2021

© Copyright Periuk 2021

 
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