If there is one thing I love, it’s a versatile recipe. I love something that can be good warm or cold and has a lot of variations. This one also has the benefit of being very quick to prepare.
Last week, I mixed up a batch of this delicious sesame noodles dish with chopped cabbage. It was great for dinner that night, but it was even better for leftovers the next few days.
The real backbone of a meal like this is the sauce. It has a really rich sesame flavor, but at the same time will give your mouth a little burn thanks to the chili sauce. When I was making it, I was thinking of all the other stuff I could do with it besides coat noodles in it. It could also be a killer marinade or if you thickened it a bit, it would be a great dip for any number of things.
1) Mix all the ingredients for the sesame sauce together.
2) Chop up half a cabbage (5 cups of pre-shredded cabbage) as thin as you can get it.
3) Mix the cabbage with half of the delicious sauce.
4) Cook the entire box of noodles according to the package directions.
5) After you cook it, rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process.
6) Toss the noodles with a Tablespoon of sesame oil.
7) Then mix everything together! Don’t forget to add the rest of the sauce.
8) Eat immediately or chill it in the fridge and eat a day later!
So while the recipe is pretty specific, I think a lot of the ingredients can be adjusted to taste. The one thing I wanted to make sure I got right was the Tahini paste. I had no idea how much 4 ounces of Tahini paste was so I weighed it out. Turns out to be about 2/3 of a Cup.
And anytime I measure anything with Chili in the title, I tend to make the spoon overflow. Oops.
Besides this killer sauce, all you need for this recipe is a red cabbage and some sort of noodle. You can also choose a few garnishes like cucumber or scallion, but those are optional.
You can buy cabbage already shredded which is fine, but it isn’t too hard to cut it yourself. When I get a whole one, I cut it into quarters and then cut out the core part which doesn’t dice very well. Then just slice the cabbage as thin as you can get it.
Because of the way cabbage leaves split apart, you can just slice in one direction and then sort of mix it up with your hands or a spoon and the shreds will separate. For this recipe you only need half of a cabbage, which was probably 5 cups shredded if you are buying yours pre-shredded.
Mix the cabbage with half of your delicious sauce.
About the noodles. I know very little about Asian noodles. I went with just a standard rice noodle which was perfect for the dish. Honestly, I think any kind of medium sized noodle would work great. Jeff told me he has even made with spaghetti before. So feel free to experiment with different options, but if you want a winner for sure try these guys.
You want the whole box which should be between 14 and 16 ounces of noodles.
They are really easy to cook and only take about 5 minutes. Whatever noodle you choose, after you cook it, rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Then toss the noodles with a Tablespoon of sesame oil. This is basically just to keep them from sticking together. If you don’t have sesame oil, I think you could use peanut oil.
Then mix everything together! Don’t forget to add the rest of your sauce.
I like mine extra spicy so I topped it with some extra chili sauce and some other little garnishes also.
When I had this on day two (and three), I hit it with just a few drops of vinegar. The vinegar tends to mellow (or evaporate or something) quickly so it loses that tang pretty quickly.
I think this dish is best cold. On day one, I ate it at room temperature (the noodles cool down when you rinse them off). You could chill it though if you had time. I was about to eat my arm so I simply couldn’t wait.