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Cold Sesame Noodles

Tyler Essary/TODAY
Cook Time:
15 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

These noodles make the perfect base for all sorts of chopped toppings, like pickles or leftover grilled or roasted vegetables.

Technique tip: You want the dressing to be thin enough to coat the noodles easily, but thick enough to stick to them.

Swap option: Grind cashews or pistachios in a food processor with a little water to make your own nut butter and use that instead of the tahini.


  • Salt
  • 1 pound cucumbers
  • 12 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles or dried (not fresh) long pasta like linguine
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup tahini, peanut butter, or a combination
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or other vinegar
  • Hot chile oil or Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, or more for garnish



Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it. Peel the cucumbers, cut them in half, and seed them. Cut the cucumber into shreds (use a grater or a knife, depending on your taste) and set aside.


When the water comes to a boil, add the noodles. Cook, stirring occasionally until the noodles are tender but not mushy (start tasting after 1 minute for fresh noodles, 5 minutes for long pasta).


While the noodles are cooking, whisk together the sesame oil, tahini, sugar, soy, ginger if you're using it, vinegar, chile oil to taste, and pepper in a large bowl. Thin the sauce with some of the cooking water to about the consistency of heavy cream; you will need 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Stir in the cucumbers.


When the noodles are done, drain them and rinse under cold water. Drain again. Toss the noodles with the sauce and cucumbers. Taste, add salt if necessary, then garnish with scallions and serve.