Summers in Shanghai are blistering hot. Even as someone who loves a piping hot bowl of noodles on any given day, those couple of months were unbearable. If I was craving noodles, my mom would make peanut sesame cold noodles (花生芝麻凉面) to quell those needs. This recipe only requires a quick mix of a variety of delicious sauces, boiling thin noodles quickly and rinsing them under cold water, and adding a bit of crunch with julienned vegetables.
With the peanut butter and sesame paste as the base of the sauce, we rarely ate this with any other side dishes because it is so filling. A quick 10-minute meal for lunch or a speedy weekday dinner, this recipe is great when temperatures run high, and you want something easy, refreshing, and filling.
Ingredients for peanut sesame cold noodles
- Handful of whole wheat noodles: I like to use the thin variety because they cook a lot faster. However, this sauce goes great with thick, curly noodles as they adhere to the surface. More sauce appreciation!
- Creamy, natural peanut butter
- Sesame paste: You can find these at any Asian grocery store, usually where you would also find the other condiments and sauces such as soy sauce and vinegar. If you don't have sesame paste, you can also sub with equal parts tahini.
- Soy sauce: we usually use the low sodium variety
- Oyster sauce
- Black vinegar
- Miran - if you don't have miran, you can sub with some rice vinegar with a teaspoon of granulated sugar
- White sesame seeds
- Julienned cucumber
- Chopped purple and green cabbage
- Julienned carrots
Instructions for peanut sesame cold noodles recipe
Mix together sauce ingredients, put peanut butter and sesame paste in a bowl first. Then add oyster sauce, soy sauce, mirin* and black vinegar to thin out the paste. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time to get the sauce to a thinner consistency.
*Use rice vinegar and sugar to sub for mirin
Boil a pot of water and cook thin noodles for 6-8 minutes depending on package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Rinsing the noodles under cold water will help keep them nice, springy, and chewy. This also helps keep them from getting lumpy and from sticking together.
Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss so the sauce covers all the noodle surface!
Julienne cucumbers and carrots to serve over the noodles for extra crunch. If you're looking for an easier way, I sometimes have a pack of chopped lettuce and toss it over the noodles in lieu of prepping the vegetables myself. Sprinkle with white sesame seeds.
Frequently asked questions
Ideally, you'll use smooth peanut butter. We typically have the natural kind at home, but you are free to use the conventional kind of at home. When I'm in a crunch and only have crunchy peanut butter, I also use those and it still adds a nice texture with the peanut bits!
I would recommend using a thin, straight wheat-based noodle such as Lanzhou hand-pulled noodles or somen. However, some people prefer thicker, curly noodles which also works great with this sauce!
Looking for more noodle dishes?
Try my Korean vegan jajangmyeon (black bean noodle) recipe or vegetarian japchae (stir-fry glass noodles) for a wide variety of the best type of carbs!
Peanut Sesame Cold Noodles
- 1 handful whole wheat noodles
- 20 g creamy natural peanut butter
- ½ tablespoon sesame paste
- 10 g low sodium soy sauce
- 5 g oyster sauce
- 10 g black vinegar
- 5 g miran (sub with rice vinegar and sugar)
- 2-3 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- ½ cucumbers (julienned)
- ½ carrots (julienned)
- Mix together sauce ingredients, put peanut butter and sesame paste in a bowl first. Then add oyster sauce, soy sauce, mirin and black vinegar to thin out the paste. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time to get the sauce to a thinner consistency.
- Boil a pot of water and cook thin noodles for 6-8 minutes depending on package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss so the sauce covers all the noodle surface.
- Julienne cucumbers and carrots to serve over the noodles for extra crunch. Sprinkle on white sesame seeds.
I love noodle recipes a lot and this sounds like one I would really like. I will be trying it in the next few days, I can't resist recipes with pasta and veggies! Thanks!
This sounds so refreshing for lunch on a hot summer day. I'm really looking forward to trying out this recipe! Thank you for sharing.
Easy and delish. THe perfect summer recipe.
Gina Hoskins says
You are speaking my language as I LOVE peanut butter in savory dishes! Lovely recipe!
Oh yum! What a delicious easy lunch idea. I love this! I'm saving this on my list to try. Can't wait to make it.
Kim Guzman says
Wow, what a delicious lunch. I never thought about combining these ingredients but this was incredible and I'm going to have more today. Yum!
Yum! These look delicious but are so quick and easy!
This was great for lunch!
Delicious recipe... serve with some chicken satay! Delicious leftovers.
So delicious and so easy for a nice picnic or barbecue salad. Will make again!!
Delicious recipe and so perfect for a quick lunch or dinner! Everything you could want in an easy recipe!
I love this. The peanut sesame blends perfectly with the cold noodles!
Delicious recipe! Will be making it again.
Sometimes a simple recipe is the best and this is the case with these cold noodles. This is my new go to lunch!
Love this cold noodles recipe. Perfect for a hot summer day meal.
Made this for dinner last night and it was sooo good! Quick and easy recipe, perfect when you short of time, but still want tasty meal.