This is one of those recipes that lends itself well to adaptation. It's wonderful as is but is also delicious with the addition of sliced grilled chicken, grilled or boiled shrimp, or any of your favorite vegetables (broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, snow pea pods, etc.) If not finishing in one sitting, I'd recommend storing the pasta and vegetables (and protein, if using) separate from the sauce.
Cold Sesame Noodles
Yield: 4 servings
12 ounces udon noodles
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili paste, such as sambal
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons hot water
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Fresh chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish
Chopped dry-roasted peanuts, for garnish
Cook the noodles in large pot of boiling unsalted water over medium heat until barely tender and still firm. Drain immediately and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Drain noodles really well and transfer to a bowl; toss with sesame oil to flavor noodles and keep them from sticking together. Chill well.
In a blender combine the peanut oil, ginger, garlic, chili paste, lime juice, brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and hot water. Blend. Toss the noodles with the peanut sauce until well-coated. Serve at room temperature or chilled; garnish with the sesame seeds, green onions, peanuts and cilantro.
Source: Adapted from Tyler Florence