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Friday, March 19, 2004

10 Minute Sesame Noodles Recipe

Condiments. I can't get enough of them. In our fridge we have no fewer than five mustards, six jams, seven Asian sauces, and various chutneys, Indian pickles, salsas, HP brown sauce, relish, horseradish sauce and ketchup. You name it, it's probably in there. But if there is one and one alone that I can't live without, it's Chinese chili garlic sauce from Lee Kum Kee. I use it in all sorts of dishes to punch them up a bit. You can add it to soups, stews, and stir frys of course. You can use it alone as a dipping sauce or mixed into mayonnaise it makes a great spread or dip for veggies. I even use it in place of harissa in Moroccan style meals like couscous or tagine. Best of all, you can use it as a shortcut to make a tasty meal in minutes.

This week I adapted a recipe that uses a Thai spice blend. My sister sent me some a while back and I have struggled to come up with ways to use it. Most herbs are just better fresh than dry. But this blend when reconstituted in sauce really comes to life. You can buy it from My Spicer which is where mine came from. My Spicer has loads of interesting spices and blends available at very reasonable prices. Penzeys Spices also has a version (as I've mentioned before Penzeys catalog is well worth requesting) or you may even find a version in the supermarket.

This dish is fast, easy, healthy, uses relatively few ingredients (all staples in my household) and is great hot or cold. It's a useful thing to have in your repertoire to serve at home, for picnics, potlucks, whatever. Feel free to vary the amounts and customize it any which way you like.

10 Minute Sesame Noodles

Serves: 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish if you add more veggies like broccoli, snow peas, whatever you like.


8 oz. noodles (I like angel hair pasta but those flat Thai or Chinese rice stick noodles are good too)
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 scallion slivered
1-2 tsp. Thai Spice Blend
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Chinese chili garlic sauce (or more to taste)


Prepare the noodles according to package directions. Mix Thai spice blend, sesame oil, peanut butter, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Whisk to blend, then add carrot strips and scallion. When noodles are cooked, drain and toss with the sauce while hot. Or you can drain the noodles, rinse them in cold water and toss them with the sauce.