Cold Sesame Noodles?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by foodnfoto, May 3, 2006.

  1. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    Hi all

    I have a client who wants me to develop a recipe for cold sesame noodles-NY style. This guy is a real PITA giving conflicting info on his desires all the time. Anyway, I've researched a bunch of recipes. Some have peanuts or p.b., others just a loose kind of vinaigrette. Some call for sesame seeds, and others just the oil. Some call for no sesame oil at all.

    What do you think? Suzanne, I really hope you can help me here.
    Any Asian food historians interested?

    Thanks all
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    There was a recipe for a similar dish in John Madden Ultimate Tailgating. I don't have the recipe but as I recall it was peanut butter, orange juice, sesame oil, hot sauce, probably some soy sauce and lots of hot sauce. It was good, but as Madden said, a "sinker". A sinker being one of those good dishes that's usually unhealthy and sticks with ya for a while. All the recipes in that book were sinkers.

    It was a good book.

    Phil
     
  3. suzanne

    suzanne

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    This is one of the hardest dishes to replicate to people's taste, afaik. Friends who moved to Boston years ago are STILL looking for a replacement for what they used to eat here. :p

    The first one I found in Craig Claiborne and Virginia Lee's The Chinese Cookbook for 2 to 4 servings, from 4 ounces of fine egg noodles, calls for:
    • 1/4 cup sesame paste
    • 3 T brewed tea or water
    • 2 T hot oil (Optional, but if he wants spicy, it's got to be there)
    • 3 T light soy sauce (that is, the regular kind)
    • 3 T red wine vinegar
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • salt
    • 1/4 tsp MSG (optional) [this recipe dates from 1972!]
    • 1/4 cup peanut oil
    • 2 T chopped garlic
    • 1 T sesame oil
    It also includes 1 whole chicken breast, poached and shredded, but that's not necessary.

    Another one in The Art of Chinese Cuisine by Hsiang Ju Lin and Tsuifeng Lin includes sesame oil, peanut butter, water, soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper oil, sugar, [MSG], and black pepper, and mixes in bean sprouts marinated with sugar and slivered ginger.

    Pei Mei's Chinese Cook Book (from Taiwan) has Cold Noodles Sze-Chun Style with both chicken and bean sprouts, and a sauce of sesame paste, soy sauce, vinegar, hot oil, [MSG], sugar, chopped scallion, chopped ginger, chopped garlic, "brown pepper corn powder" (which I presume to mean ground Sichuan peppercorns, which I think are available again), and sesame oil, with chopped roasted peanuts sprinkled on top.

    Corinne Trang's Essentials of Asian Cuisine sounds good but a little far afield: it includes fermented bean curd and its brine, scallions, bean sprouts, finely ground peanuts (NOT peanut butter), fermented black bean and garlic sauce, light soy sauce, Chinese white rice vinegar, sesame oil and hot oil.

    Edited to add: some places call this dish Dan Dan Noodles; maybe you could look under that name, too?
     
  4. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    Thanks a million, Phil and Suzanne!

    It seems there is no concensus on how this dish ought to be made. Since it's being served with a cold beef salad and lime dressing, I think I'll stick to the simplest one possible. I wanted to make scallion pancakes as a side to the salad, but this client freaked out saying they were way too greasy. (I only cook mine in a little oil just to crisp them a bit, not deep fry.)

    Funny how folks who can't (or won't) cook make all kinds of assumptions about how food will be based on only one experience.
     
  5. higjse

    higjse

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    thats funny I seem to get this a lot... even sometimes from people who can cook
     
  6. scott123

    scott123

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    I've never eaten Sesame Noodles in a Chinese restaurant that didn't contain peanut butter. I've also never tasted vinegar. If a restaurant did use vinegar, it would have to be a miniscule amount. And tea? Sorry Craig. This New Yorker has never tasted tea in his noodles.

    Foodnfoto, the most important ingredient for NY-style sesame noodles is toasted sesame oil. Not the generic sesame oil used for frying. You don't want to use much (a little goes a long way), but it has to be there.

    Get the thin fresh egg noodles from a Asian grocer. Those are ideal for this dish.

    Here is my Sesame Sauce clone:

    40 g creamy peanut butter (I use Peter Pan)
    28 g water
    20 g soy sauce
    1 clove garlic, pressed
    1/2 - 1 t. toasted sesame seed oil
    smidgeon cayenne
    Thinly chopped scallions as a garnish

    Variations

    3 T. Coconut milk - popular with the moosewood/vegetarian crowd. I like it and almost always use it. Definitely not authentic though.
    Ginger - not sure how many restaurants use ginger, but I use a tiny bit (I make an infusion with the water)
    Sugar - since I use sweetened PB, I don't add sugar.
     
  7. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    Thanks for the recipes all
    Scott I used yours with a couple changes. I used black tea for the water and added a little ginger too. Also topped the noodles with one minced serrano chili. They loved it
    thanks again!
     
  8. expatc

    expatc

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    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/re...s/views/231439

    That is a great dish and maybe what you need. My only thought is don't use rice noodles. They have a good failure rate and are a bit specialized without practice and your guy sounds really picky. I would use Soba Noodles if could find them or even a good quality angel hair/vermicelli. DON'T use sweetened peanut butter whatever you do. If you find yourself unable to resist PB, use a natural unsweetened variety.
     
  9. capecodder

    capecodder

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    Soba noodles would be too thick IMHO to duplicate NY restaurant sesame noodles. All I have had use the lo mein style of noodle.

    Every restaurant seems to have a different version. The components are always peanut butter, soy, and Rooster sauce thinned with hot water to a sauce consistency. Some also add finely chopped peanuts either to the sauce or as a topping. Chopped scallions are scattered on top.
     
  10. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Now that so many people have posted versions of this dish, I think it would be fun to do a taste-off some time! :lips: Anybody want to come over to my house for a Cold-Sesame-Noodle Pot Luck? :lol: Scott, I'll pit mine against yours any time. ;)