Sesame Noodles, Raw and Cooked

by Gena on June 22, 2010

Thanks for so many sweet words about the wedding photos. I’m glad you got to see how beautiful the ceremony was, and how exquisite Chloe looked. I’ll try to smile with my mouth open more often–in fact, I’m rather ashamed that my insecurities have manifested themselves in quasi-habitual lockjaw.

I definitely second Kathleen‘s request for a guest post from Chloe!

Now that the Choosing Raw epithalamium is compelete, it’s time to get back to our main interest: food. With only a few exceptions, I haven’t prepared much of anything in the last two days that isn’t a salad or doesn’t come in a plastic bag labeled “Food for Life” (i.e., Ezekiel sprouted grain products). Boring. After a long weekend with not enough sleep, I did replenish myself with my nutrient dense salad of the week:

That would be my own spin on Ani Phyo’s almond ginger pate (a similar recipe can be found in the demo here) along with Lydia’s crackers, loads of lemon juice, a touch of flax oil, radishes, and raw kale. Hit the spot!

Do you enjoy Chinese food? I can’t say I’ve ever been lucky enough to try any of the many authentic Chinese regional cuisines, but I, like most people, have tried standardized Chinese American takeout. It’s not my favorite on the whole, but there are one or two dishes I love the taste of–namely, sesame noodles. Now, according to my own fleeting efforts at research, cold sesame noodles don’t use much sesame at all. Instead, they’re made from peanut butter and sesame oil. There’s nothing wrong with this (aside from false advertising), unless you happen to be one of the estimated 3 million Americans with a peanut allergy. Then, the choice to cook with peanuts–or even to have peanut reside on your hands–becomes hazardous. Even if you’re like me, and you have no food allergies whatsoever, you may choose to be leery of peanuts. While I certainly don’t think they’re terrible for you, I do think that they’re a common GMO crop, and that they may be mucous forming. In all, I’m not terrified of peanuts when I happen upon them, but when it’s easy for me to make a choice, I’ll almost always opt for a different kind of nut or nut butter.

This choice becomes really easy in the case of cold sesame noodles, because I happen to be a tahini fanatic! With temperatures climbing up into the 90s, now is a perfect time not only for raw foods, but also for cooked foods served cool. I suggest you start here, with a sesame noodle dish that’s actually full of sesame. It begins with a sauce:

Sesame Noodle Sauce (serves 4)

4 tbsp tahini (I like the raw Artisana variety, but you can use roasted if it’s what you have)
2 tbsp tamari or nama shoyu
3/4 tsp ginger
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp water

Mix all ingredients by hand or in a blender.

This sauce is quite versatile–it would be just as lovely over a salad or stirfry or brown rice dish as it is over noodles. But over noodles I wanted it, and over noodles it went.

I’m often asked why I don’t eat more pasta, and whether or not I “miss” it. It’s a query founded upon the vexing assumption that I’ve “given up” pasta in an attempt to be a better saint–which I have not–or that I avoid it because of carbohydrate content. Let me quickly bat down that latter idea: I haven’t met too many starches (whole grain ones, that is) I didn’t like. I also don’t shun pasta because I think it’s unhealthy, or because it’s cooked. It’s just not something I think about very often, and I really do prefer zucchini pasta most of the time.

That said, most of the time is not always. Sometimes, I do have a hankering for a whole grain pasta. When I do, I like two brands: Tinkyada brown rice pasta (which is, in my opinion, the best whole grain pasta out there) and my personal favorite: soba noodles. These buckwheat based noodles are my absolute favorite, and I always have some of them in my pantry for nights when I’m not in the mood for quinoa, barley, rice, or millet. They’re terrific with steamed veggies, mirin, and nama shoyu, with my Asian dressing, or tossed in a vinaigrette. And apparently, they’re great with my sesame noodle sauce. Behold:


This was a single serving of soba noodles mixed with 1/4 sliced bell pepper, 1 small grated carrot, 1/3 cup peas, and 1/4 julienned zucchini, dressed in about 2-3 tbsp sesame noodle sauce. Paired with a salad, it was a hearty but light summer dinner.

The next day, I whipped up a raw version of the dish, subbing zucchini pasta, which I lazily made on my mandolin, rather than using (and having to clean) my spiralizer:


Same proportions: 2-3 tbsp dressing for the “pasta.” Again, I served it up with greens. And once again, it was absolutely delicious.

A simple tasty, and seasonally appropriate dish that can make equally tasty raw or cooked vegan dinners–what’s not to like?

I’m slowly easing back into life as usual post wedding, and hope that this week goes quickly. So far, it’s flying by. Have a great evening!

xo

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie (Peaces of Earth) June 23, 2010 at 12:34 am

Yum!! I love soba noodles. I actually made a very similar dish and served it cold, so in case anyone’s wondering, this would be great for leftovers, too. :)

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Nicole Slater June 23, 2010 at 12:49 am

YUUMMMM this looks delish. I’m going to try it tomorrow night.
I’ve been a bit boring lately with my dinners and I’ve been looking for new recipes.
=)

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bitt June 23, 2010 at 2:15 am

thank you for mentioning the mandolin. i don’t have a spirilizer (surprisingly enough because i have almost every other kitchen gadget) so i am reminded i can use that to make noodles.

tinkayada does have the best rice noodles.

i am not in love with zucchini but i think that carrot or cucumber noodles would be fun or even put it on snow peas.

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Sarah June 23, 2010 at 3:05 am

I love chinese food and noodles. This recipe looks SO good. I think I may sub almond butter for tahini if that works? x

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The Voracious Vegan June 23, 2010 at 3:33 am

I love Chinese food, I love noodles, and I LOVE sesame noodles! This is exactly the kind of meal I’ve been craving lately and I cannot wait to give it a try.

You know, I rarely eat peanuts or peanut butter, and prefer to stick to almond or cashew butter because I noticed that sometimes eating peanuts can trigger a migraine. I later read that that was the case for many people who suffer from migraines and I’ve steered clear (but not completely!) ever since. I think once you get something like that mostly out of your diet a treat every now and then isn’t such a big deal. But when it was a more regular part of my diet it would cause quite frequent head aches. So thank you so much for a peanut free version of this delicious recipe!

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JL Goes Vegan June 23, 2010 at 5:44 am

Oh, this looks good! I don’t tend to crave pasta either, but I do like to eat if a few days before a big race. I have a half-marathon on Sunday and this seems like a nice, light summer meal that will give my body what it needs and a taste that I will love. Thank you!

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is June 23, 2010 at 6:30 am

I love sesame noodles! I really have never liked pasta much, but do love it with a good sesame or pasta sauce.

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The Voracious Vegan June 23, 2010 at 6:35 am

Once again another of your recipes has me swooning in delight! I just made this and it is INCREDIBLE! So simple and what an amazing flavor! I’ll be blogging about this today, it is so YUMMY!

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Annie D. @ Annie's Simple Life June 23, 2010 at 7:00 am

That looks Ah-MAZING!! Thanks for sharing!

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Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg June 23, 2010 at 7:35 am

Ahhh, cold sesame noodles are one of my FAVORITE dishes! But you know– I don’t think I’ve ever made them at home! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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Lauren June 23, 2010 at 9:17 am

These look great! I am not a Chinese food person either (surprise, surprise!)..lol! :)

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Kenzie (HealthyPurpose) June 23, 2010 at 10:08 am

mmm! Ive been experiementing with different types of pasta lately. The brown rice version I tried was too “gooey.” I like the quinoa ones. I’ll try Sbra next!

The dressing looks fantastic. I’ve made something similar and can totally see how its the perfect Asian dressing/sauce. Thanks for sharing!

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Kacy June 23, 2010 at 10:33 am

Looks delicious! They serve some amazing raw sesame noodles at 105degrees here in OKC that I’m obsessed with. I’d love to try that recipe.

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Mama Pea June 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Pasta really is just a sauce vehicle to me. It is essentially flavorless, so zucchini is a great substitute for me, or any veggies for that matter. Your noodle salad looks amazing and your photos really are stellar!

Hope you have a low-stress day!

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nelly June 23, 2010 at 12:53 pm

that salad is GLORIOUS!!!!

and guess whose having sesame noodles tonight? none other than me, nelly!!!

have a beautiful day girl!

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) June 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm

YES! All hail soba. I myself have been known to toss a serving of soba with a zucchini’s worth of noodles along with some sauce to create a truly bountiful noodle bowl. GOOD STUFF! Aaaaand now I want noodles.

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LC @ Let Them Eat Lentils June 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I JUST made something very similar to this! I don’t like peanut butter either, so I just kind of came up with a recipe with ginger, tamari, and seasame oil over soba noodles with veggies (try some red cabbage in it too – so good). Inspired by my favorite take-out food from Plant. I will definitely try your dressing with tahini, however, bc mine felt a little oily. Also – toasted seasame seeds on top are a must!

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Ian June 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I am also not a fan of pasta but LOVE soba. I recently had some delicious vegetable soba in NYC…yum!

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Maria June 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Looks delicious! Must put on the ‘must make’ recipe list soon. :)
Thanks for the inspiration!

Maria
kaleandcupcakes.wordpress.com

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Bianca- Vegan Crunk June 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I love your raw sesame noodles! I think I’ll make ‘em again for my next raw food day!

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Marisa June 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I know that all that food is delicious in itself, but you have such a way of photographing it to make it look that much more fantastic! Every time I look at one of your meals my mouth waters. :)

I’ve been having a lot of zucchini pasta lately… been using my mom’s spirilizer so I really need to get one of my own!

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claire June 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I’ve always loved cold sesame noodles..this looks amazing lady! Hope you are readjusting to your regular life after the wedding!

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Blaine June 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Just made this for dinner, it was so yum! I modified a bit (I can never help myself) and added a touch of sweetness with honey. So simple and light, it’s a hit!

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Caroline June 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I’m a big fan of Artisana’s tahini as well, but I’ve never had much luck finding ways to incorporate it into recipes. Thanks for the idea!

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Pure2raw twins June 23, 2010 at 9:03 pm

We are not pasta either, love our zucchini pasta though ; )

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Pure2raw twins June 23, 2010 at 9:03 pm

We are not pasta people either, love our zucchini pasta and kelp noodles though ; )

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Pure2raw twins June 23, 2010 at 9:04 pm

haha sorry for the two comments, i realized I made a mistake in the first one ; (

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) June 23, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Good stuff, Gena!

I dont have any desire for pasta. Never did, still don’t. Zuke noodles are perfect for me if I ever want something along those lines :) But really, I swear, I dont even crave those. Noodles and me, meh. Sweet raw ball desserts, yes please!

:)

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Jessica Lee June 24, 2010 at 12:48 am

If you ever come back to Chicago, free REAL chinese food on me. My parents have a restaurant and it’s DELISH. I dont eat all the dishes on the menu (think fried, oily, high sodium) but the ones that my dad makes for me are wonderful.

Soba noodles and udon are probably the best kind. They are sooo chewy and dense.

Great recipe. I really need some new sauce and salad dressing ideas. I also have a HUGE jar of tahini that I need to use too.

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Casey June 24, 2010 at 4:30 am

Yum! Looks delightful and fresh! I love zucchini noodles over regular pasta every time too.

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Marlena June 24, 2010 at 8:33 am

That looks so great Gena! I love doing raw and cooked versions of things. :)

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Kat June 24, 2010 at 10:30 am

ooooh looks tasty! I love noodly dishes with zuke noodles! Almond butter is a great sub for tahini too :)

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leslie June 24, 2010 at 3:04 pm

this is so going to the top of my to-make list! can i come over for dinner soon? :)

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Christine (The Raw Project) June 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Wow, I can’t wait to try this, it looks wonderful! Thanks!

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am June 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm

i wanted to stop by to say that i just finished this for lunch: leftover half of (raw) sweet potato + near-death small zuke + few crushed cashews + partial bunch of soba noodles + 7 minutes in the morning = lunch that makes your toes wiggle. so effing satisfying.

(ok, i added a coupla things–turmeric, splash of cider vinegar. because i have this thing for turmeric. it’s like a sickness. i’m sure the sauce is brilliant as written.)

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Melissa June 28, 2010 at 6:46 am

A similar version of this is one of my top ten dinner options. Thanks for this. If you ever come to London and need a guide for vegan/raw food here, let me know, I’d be glad to offer my foodie knowledge. I have commented via FB to Sarma that she should open a One Lucky Duck here (a selfish plea, really). Take care.

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Kathryn June 29, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Walked to the store at lunch to get everything I need for this! We have a potluck at work tomorrow and there is rarely something for me to eat so I’m very excited to not only bring something that looks so great but be able to sit down and eat with co-workers!

I bought some purple cabbage to add for a little extra color too!

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Kathryn June 30, 2010 at 6:34 pm

This was a HUGE hit at work!

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Tanya July 12, 2010 at 4:26 pm

That dressing does look good. I’ve made a sauce similar to that this past month, while out of town….staying in other’s homes. They’ve often had some leftover pasta lying around, and so in it went :) I try not to eat too much pasta myself, although I used to LOVE it. I’ve made some sprouted grain pasta, but it’s very sticky and chewy….

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Michelle October 11, 2013 at 5:03 am

Do you use Toasted Sesame Oil for this recipe??

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Gena October 11, 2013 at 7:19 am

Yes, toasted.

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