Tuesday, November 07, 2006

spicy "sweet & salty" sesame noodles

this recipe is more of a north american deli-type invention and uses either spaghetti noodles or thin linguine. while not authentically asian due to the type of noodles involved, it is convenient in that many homes always have these on hand. while some pasta salad and noodle recipes typically lose their taste upon sitting for any length of time, the flavour of these noodles is not dulled upon refrigeration or storage — even after several days. hopefully they won't be sitting around that long in your fridge!

notes for this recipe before starting:

* do not use salted water to cook the noodles; enough salt is provided in the soy sauce;
* a dark soy sauce is the one to use; light ones or japanese style do not have the same depth of flavour;
* do not use less oil than called for; it is there for a reason and does not make the noodles "oily";
* the sesame seeds & sesame oil are optional. omit if you do not like the the texture/flavour they add to the noodles;
* orange zest is also optional;
* intensity of chili heat is your choice, anywhere from none to smokin' hot;
* i sometimes make these noodles without the sesame seeds & orange zest and it is just as good. my preference is often for making them plain & simple.

spicy sweet & salty sesame noodles

1/2 small pkg spaghetti or linguine noodles [~ 250 g; 1/2 lb]
1 - 3 tbsp sesame seeds
3 - 4 tbsp vegetable oil
3 - 4 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp red chili flakes or sriracha sauce
4 - 5 tbsp dark soy sauce (not japanese or light soy)
3 - 4 tbsp honey
1/2 - 1 tsp dark [toasted] sesame oil
1 - 2 tsp finely grated orange zest or,
1 tbsp thinly julienned orange peel (no white part)

thinly sliced green onions for garnishing

peel garlic cloves and slice thinly. set aside. grate or julienne orange zest and set aside [cover it so it doesn't dry out].

measure out the noodles and break in half and set aside.

put up water to boil the noodles. while that is happening, place sesame seeds — if using — in a dry fry pan over medium heat and brown them. remove and set aside. in the same pan, add the oil [not the sesame] over medium low heat and add the sliced garlic. cook until softened, not browned. add the chili flakes during the last 30 seconds to cook a bit.

place this in a large mixing bowl and add the orange zest to release some of its oils. add the sesame oil and the seeds along with the soy sauce and honey.

when water is ready, boil the noodles until al dente and strain. drain well, you don't want any water added to the recipe. place the noodles in a large bowl and cover the bowl.

add drained noodles to the sauce ingredients and mix well with tongs. let the noodles absorb the sauce for an hour or two before eating. adjust seasonings to your liking.

these can be successfully refrigerated and enjoyed later. they absorb the flavours nicely.


Scott at Real Epicurean said...

It's a nice idea. It's simple, which I like, but looks interesting enough to be tasty.

burekaboy — said...

hi scott - yes, i wasn't sure how it was going to turn out at first [being skeptical of not using an asian type noodle]; was happy with the results when i tried it and use it often. it is popular with other people, too. thanks for the comment.

Just Sharlene said...

Oh dear. Don't cook my cat! haha...

burekaboy — said...

sharlene! - it took a second for it to register!! LOL> for those reading this, you'll have to check out sharlene's blog to get the joke. btw ... that little sesame noodle of yours is worth eating! now i'll have to figure more ways to "cook" him.

Sneekersmom said...

This was GREAT! What a taste experience! So many diffrent flavors in one mouthfull!

At first I tasted sweet... then the sesame... then the chili and garlic kicked in at the end.

I must say this is a KEEPER!!!


burekaboy — said...

hi there sneekersmom - welcome and thank you very much for the feedback about the recipe. i greatly appreciate hearing that you enjoyed it and your taking the time to tell me.

i love this dish also -- i can polish off the whole thing myself over a day or two!! i like how simple it is to throw together and that the flavours do not dissipate after a day or two (though it never lasts that long with me!). it's also perfect for light summer dinners with a salad on the side when you don't feel like cooking or are going on a picnic.

thanks for testing out the recipe and your comment :)

Sneekersmom said...

8 months later and I am STILL making this recipe regularly!

I just had to let you know that I served this as a side dish last night at a buffet for 50 people...

Easily one of the BEST commented on dishes! No word of a lie... One of the ladies actually LICKED her plate! And after the bowl was empty ladies were fishing out the shaved garlic slices that were clinging to the side of the bowl!!!!

VERY unusual behaviour for this particular group of Women... especially at a rather formal party!

I am so grateful for you posting this recipe!


burekaboy — said...

sneekersmom - hi ;) wow, what a story. thanks for the great comment & letting me know how it went over at your function. of course, kudos to the cook as you are the one who actually made it!!

happy to hear that you are still making the dish and everyone liked it at your buffet dinner. it's definitely one of those recipes that is a crowd pleaser. simple to make and definitely easy to eat! LOL.