Sunday, February 10, 2019

My Version of Ruth Reichl's Peanut Sesame Noodles

Five bottles of sesame seeds were in my spice cabinet when I cleaned it out. Five! I've been hacking away at it, little by little, sprinkling sesame seeds on my avocado toast. I've also been looking for recipes that use more than a sprinkle.

I have a few up my sleeve, but for now I'm starting with Ruth's Peanut Sesame Noodles. I've been craving these noodles for awhile now. Ruth says you can really dress these up by putting them on a platter and garnishing them with all sorts of veggies, chicken, cilantro, even garnishing in lines like a Cobb salad. That would've made for a gorgeous display that was truly blogworthy, BUT....

I wanted something that was easy to eat. A pared down version with nothing to get in the way of the noodle. No pesky vegetable interference! So, I did just that. A silky creamy peanut sesame sauce tossed with lo mein noodles sprinkled with lots of scallions, crushed red pepper flakes, and lots of toasted sesame seeds. I have to say, I was extremely pleased!

The peanut sesame sauce is so creamy it's almost silky.  I love the hint of ginger, garlic, and spice from the red pepper flake! Ruth says that this is best served right away, but I found that this is also delicious served cold or warm the next day. I would gladly make this again. In fact, I'm tempted to make it again and garnish it as she suggested. I think it would be a beautiful dish to entertain with!

Peanut Sesame Noodles
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
by Ruth Reichl
Serves 4-6

For Dressing
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For Noodles
3/4 pound dried thin linguine or spaghetti
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/8" wide strips*
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/8" wide strips* 
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Make the dressing: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Make the noodles: Cook pasta in a 6-8 quart pot of boiling water (1 tablespoons salt per every 4 quarts of water) until tender. Drain in a colander, then rinse well under cold water. Add pasta, scallions, bell peppers*, and sesame seeds to dressing, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.

*Notes: I was going for basic noodle dish that was easy to eat so I opted to leave out thebell pepper strips. I didn't have sesame oil so I used canola oil. 


  1. I love anything with a peanut butter sauce! Sounds like a great easy comfort food meal to me.

  2. I have made versions of this for a long time, it's always pleasing to eat ,as well as, to make. Excellent use for all the sesame seeds floating around in the pantry.


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