Sesame Noodles with Red Cabbage


Sesame Noodles with Red Cabbage

Jump to Recipe

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.

Sesame Noodles with Red Cabbage

Serves 6
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Print Recipe

Rate This Recipe

Just a moment please...

Did you make this?

Instagram logo

Snap a photo and tag @macheesmo so I can see your work.


14 ounces rice noodles
1/2 red cabbage, sliced thin
Sesame oil, for noodles
Sliced cucumber (topping)
Minced Scallion (topping)
Sriracha sauce (topping)

Sesame sauce:

1/2 Cup peanut oil
4 ounces (about 2/3 Cup) of Tahini sesame paste
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon Chili sauce, or to your taste
6 Tablespoons soy sauce
6 Tablespoons wine vinegar (red or white is fine)
4 Tablespoons sugar
Large pinch of salt


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!

This makes a mean sauce.
Somehow I managed to have all of these things in my pantry.

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.

You don't need to be so exact.
You don’t need to be so exact.

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.

This is a lot of cabbage.
This is a lot of cabbage.

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.

This is already pretty good.
This is already pretty good.

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.

You could use any number of noodles.
You could use any number 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.

All mixed up!
All mixed up!

I like mine extra spicy so I topped it with some extra chili sauce and some other little garnishes also.

This was really good as leftovers also.
This was really good as leftovers 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.

5 Responses to “Sesame Noodles with Red Cabbage” Leave a comment

  1. Is it wrong that when I saw that cut cabbage picture, the first thing I thought was: "Wow, that looks like purple kobe beef!"

  2. I am so making this to bring for lunch. I already have a purple cabbage too! Is it me or is cabbage like the never ending vegetable. There is always so much cabbage in a cabbage, I can never use it all up!

  3. This might help if you can't purchase the sesame paste…..I always have sesame oil and seeds on hand (I do many chinese dishes).

    Tahini is a paste made of ground sesame seeds which is used in many Near and Far East recipes. This is a traditional recipe that is very simple to make with a blender or food processor.

    Prep Time: 10 minutes


    2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

    1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1/4 cup tepid water


    Place sesame seeds in a blender or food processor and grind until smooth. Add sesame oil and salt. Process until combined. With the motor running, add the water in a very slow, steady stream and blend until smooth.

    Yield: about 1/2 cup

    Note: Sesame seeds turn rancid quickly, so make certain yours are fresh. Be sure to store them away from light and heat and use quickly.

  4. This is a different variation but looks better, as the seeds are toasted which releases the oils and flavor…..

    Sesame seeds are rich in minerals such as calcium, zinc and manganese. They also contain useful quantities of some B group vitamins including thiamin and B6, and are a useful source of vegetable protein. Sesame seeds are a useful addition to your diet, particularly if you eat little or no meat. It is said that the nutrients of sesame are more easily absorbed when the seeds are ground, as is the case in tahini.


    It is worth making tahini in bulk to reduce waste as the sticky paste is difficult to empty cleanly from your food processor. This is the proportion of oil to sesame seeds to use, increase the quantities to suit your needs

    1/4 cup vegetable oil to 1 cup sesame seeds


    Preheat your oven to 340°F (170° C).

    Spread your sesame seeds on a roasting tray, and toast in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring regularly to toast evenly. Do not allow to brown as this impairs the flavor.

    Remove the sesame seeds from the oven and allow to cool briefly.

    Put the toasted sesame seeds in your food processor, with metal blades fitted, and add half the oil.

    Process the mixture on a high setting for a minute, stopping to clean the sides of the food processor with a spatula from time to time.

    Add the rest of the oil, and continue to process the seeds to a paste, again cleaning the sides regularly and ensuring that the paste still covers the blades. Ensure that all the mix is blended to a paste. This can be a somewhat messy process but stick with it. The results will be worth it!

    When the mixture is evenly smooth, and further processing does not further refine the texture, transfer your tahini to a tight fitting glass jar using a flexible spatula, if you have one, to reduce waste.

    Tahini may be kept in the refrigerator for many weeks in a well sealed jar.

    Home made tahini is just one idea on how to save money on food while eating well.

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *