Sunday, January 10, 2010

[Heart] Cold Sesame Noodles

After abandoning my lofty and sophomoric goal to cure cancer, which I was puerile enough to put in print in my high school yearbook under my senior portrait, I have been involved in pursuits less grandiose, more gastronomic. I am in search of memorable Caesar salads (I know where to order them and where not to bother), the juiciest burger within a 50 mile radius (Ted’s, hands down), and perfect sesame noodles—that I can make at home. Inspired by the sesame cold noodles on the appetizer menu at Char Koon, which I can eat in two sittings and which therefore I try to avoid, I started my search for a recipe I can make at home, which does not require leaving the house (and where portion control is a bit easier).

For a few years I stuck with the first recipe I found in a magazine, which was good. Very good, in fact. But not quite right. So I tried Ming Tsai’s recipe. And Tyler Florence’s. And I melded the two. Nope. And I tried others. Then last year Amy gave me a Trader Joe’s cookbook and in it there was what I consider a cheater recipe—equal parts TJs Soyaki, water, and peanut butter, with a dash of dark sesame oil. I add red pepper flakes for heat and whenever possible, I garnish with cucumbers, shredded carrots, green onions, and sesame seeds. When I have more than fifteen minutes and protein on hand (or the foresight to have taken some out of the freezer) I might also make pork tenderloin medallions, or chicken, marinated in aforementioned TJs Soyaki . ( I know, Trader Joes needs a [heart] note, although it did get its own post). Sometimes I’ll quickly sauté some shrimp.

But any and every way, they are easy to make and always come out the same: delicious. Spicy and satisfying, they are my Asian comfort food fix, which is why I [heart] cold sesame noodles.

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