My mother-in-law frequently makes an amazing Sichuan side dish of cold sesame noodles that are spicy, garlicky, and nutty. She was sweet enough to give me her recipe, and I am so excited to share it with you guys! I added some extra veggies to her recipe to eat as a whole meal! And you can absolutely add chicken or your favorite protein if you’re feeling it. -Morgan WWL Recipe Developer
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Ingredients for these cold sesame noodles:
This Sichuan noodle dish uses some ingredients that you may not have easy access to, like Chinese black vinegar, spicy chili oil, and white and Sichuan peppercorns. I listed more accessible ingredients in the recipe, with the harder-to-find ingredients listed as substitutes below! If you have spicy chili oil (like Lao Gan Ma chili crisp), you don’t have to make the oil/red pepper flake/sesame seed mixture; just combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
- Swap your favorite chili oil/chili crisp for the vegetable oil, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds
- Use Sichuan peppercorns for up to half of the pepper in this recipe
- Swap Chinese black vinegar for the rice wine vinegar
Related: Cold Lunch Ideas: Meal Prep Recipes When You Don’t Have A Microwave
Ways to customize this recipe:
- Swap out the veggies! Think about what tastes good cold, and is preferably crispy. Blanched broccoli/broccolini, sugar snap peas, edamame, red onion, deseeded cucumber, sliced raw cabbage, radish, etc.
- Add a protein. This recipe is written vegetarian, so you could add tofu, tempeh, of your favorite meat substitute. To easily make this omnivore, use leftover or rotisserie chicken, chicken thighs, ground beef or pork, or sliced steak.
- Add some herbs. Chopped cilantro would be great in this dish. Parsely would also work.
- Some regional variations of this dish are made with creamy Chinese sesame paste. Add a tablespoon or two of tahini, plain nut butter, or Chinese sesame paste to the sauce for a creamy variation!
- Swap the noodles! Here we are using spaghetti, but you could use ramen, soba noodles, or rice noodles. Really any long noodle would work here.
Related: 25 Easy Meal Prep Lunches For Beginner Home Cooks
How to store these cold sesame noodles
This meal will last in the fridge for up to four days and is not freezer friendly. This dish is meant to be eaten cold or at room temperature, but you can heat it in the microwave if you prefer. Happy prepping!
Related: How Long Do Meals Last: A Quick Cheat Sheet
Other delicious recipes to try out:
- Meal Prep Salmon Poke Bowl Recipe
- Mandarin Orange Salad With Salmon And Sesame Dressing
- No-Reheat Crunchy Thai Chicken Wraps
- Peanut Tofu Stir Fry With Broccoli, Peppers, And Quinoa
- Thai Coconut Curry Soup With Chicken (One-Pot!)
Chinese Cold Sesame Noodles
For the mushrooms and noodles
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms sliced, sub shiitake or portobello
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup water
- 6 oz spaghetti sub long noodles of your choice
For the sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp red chili flakes reduce if you’re sensitive to heat!
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds optional
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp white pepper sub more black pepper
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar sub Chinese black vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
For the toppings
- 1 large carrot cut into thin matchsticks
- 1 red bell pepper cut into matchsticks
- 3 TBSP peanuts chopped, optional for garnish
- 2 green onions sliced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Prepare the mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms have browned and reduced in size. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to the package until al dente. Rinse the cooked pasta in cold water and set aside.
- Make the sauce. Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering and hot. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chili flakes and sesame seeds. Swirl or stir until it stops sizzling, about 15 seconds, then set aside to cool for about 5 minutes. (If you have chili crisp/chili oil, you can skip this step and use 2 TBSP of that instead).
- Pour the chili oil into a mixing bowl and add the garlic, black pepper, white pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Mix well until everything is combined. Add the noodles (rinse with water again if they are stuck together), carrot, bell pepper, and mushrooms and toss until everything is lightly coated. Divide the noodles between three meal prep containers and top with green onions and peanuts. That’s it!
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