The Secret Ingredient (Ginger Jam) Part I: Gingered Sesame Noodles

RECIPE: Gingered Sesame Noodles
Gingered Sesame Noodles

Gingered Sesame Noodles

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When I first moved to Florida from Manhattan, there were a few things I missed.  Like winter.  And sesame noodles.
I missed the sesame noodles from my local Chinese place so much, that when I went up to New York for the weekend, I bought two big orders of it, and packed away the snap-shut plastic containers in the overhead bin on the flight down to Florida.  A better laid plan has never gone more awry.
When we landed at Palm Beach International, I collected my belongings, as per the flight attendant instructions, and opened the overhead bin.  Immediately, the smell of cold Chinese sesame noodles flooded the aircraft, nose to tail.  I knew what it was, but all the other passengers looked around, gasping, demanding, who did that!?  I was never more embarrassed in my life.
But I wasn’t so embarrassed that I left them on the plane.  At the last second, I grabbed my precious sesame package and made a run for it.  In front of my TV that night, seated on the couch, nutty noodles dangling from my mouth, I could have no regrets.
I love cold sesame noodles.  Cheap.  Delicious.  Substantial.  If you’ve never had the real deal, imagine a creamy, savory sauce made from peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and a splash of stock.  The sauce zips onto the noodles, and the whole thing is topped with a cold julienne salad of cucumber.  It never occurred to me that I could make it at home.
But it is incredibly simple, and I imagine a good deal healthier.  My secret ingredient in this version of sesame noodles is ginger jam, a thick spread made from spicy ginger and sugar, that gives a sweet heat to the sauce, an Asian back-of-the-throat kick of ginger, and even more thickness.  Now, I don’t have to suffer for my noodles.  I can make them, and smell them, in the privacy of my own kitchen.
Gingered Sesame Noodles
serves 4

Gingered Sesame NoodlesINGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound wide lo mein noodles
  • 6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoon boiling water
  • 3 tablespoon ginger jam
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 4 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 scallions, chopped

PROCEDURE

Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions.  Drain, and rinse with cold water.

Meanwhile, whisk together all the other ingredients into a smooth sauce.  Gently toss the noodles with the sauce, and serve.

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Cheap, Easy, Eat, Main Courses, Recipes, Series, Sides, Starches, The Secret Ingredient, Vegetarian, Vegetarian

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