Chinese Peanut-Sesame Noodles

Ingredients:

For the Noodles

  • 1 pound Chinese or other thin egg noodles
  • 1 cup julienned cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro sprigs

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons ground sesame paste or tahini (*)
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly graded ginger
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or shoyu
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (*) (a sweet Japanese rice wine)
  • 3 tablespoons water

Note:  Tahini and mirin can be found in the ethnic food section of most grocery markets.

Serves 4 to 6

Cook the noodles according to the package directions.  Drain them well and then rinse in cold water until cooled.  Transfer them to a large bowl.

Place all the sauce ingredients in a blender and pulse for a few seconds to combine them.  Adjust the seasoning to taste using more sugar for a sweeter dressing or more vinegar for a less oily one.

Combine the noodles and the sauce, and then divide noodles among four to six plates.  Garnish each portion with the cucumber, sesame seeds, scallion and cilantro.

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