The Washington Post

Cold Tahini Noodles With Vegetables

Cold Tahini Noodles With Vegetables 6.000

Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post; styling by Carolyn Robb for The Washington Post

Feb 3, 2020

Among the selling points for these noodles as a brown bag lunch: they're at their best when served cold, they keep well, and, depending on how many vegetables you mix in, they can serve as either a hearty meal or a light snack.

The sauce is the key. It combines several pantry staples to create a nutty, bright, creamy, spicy coating for noodles and thinly sliced carrot, cucumber, bell pepper and scallions — or whatever other veggies you have in the fridge.

Many sesame noodle recipes call for fresh or frozen Chinese egg noodles and sesame paste. This adaptation substitutes dried udon noodles and tahini, which may be more easy to find at your supermarket.

Add shredded poached boneless skinless chicken breast or cubed pan-fried tofu if you'd like to bulk the recipe up.

Adjust the heat to your liking by adding or subtracting some of the chili-garlic sauce.

Note: Be sure to quickly rinse the noodles after cooking and then toss them with a splash of sesame oil to keep them from clumping together before you add the sauce and vegetables.

Make Ahead: The assembled dish can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound dried udon noodles (may substitute Chinese egg noodles or whole-wheat linguine)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger root, finely grated
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed well and cut into 2-inch long matchsticks
  • 1/2 English cucumber, seeded and cut into 2-inch long matchsticks
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin 2-inch-long strips
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts (or 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds)


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook for 8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water, drain again and transfer to a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil and toss to coat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, the rice vinegar, tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and chili-garlic sauce.

Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss to coat. Add the carrot, cucumber and bell pepper and toss to mix it together.

Sprinkle the scallions and peanuts (or toasted sesame seeds) on top before serving.

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Recipe Source

Based on a recipe from the New York Times.

Tested by Matt Brooks.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 410

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 14g 22%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 370mg 15%

Total Carbohydrates: 63g 21%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 10g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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