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Chilled Sesame Noodles

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Chilled sesame noodles are a perfect lunch for hot days, and they’re incredibly easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. You’ll love the combination of crisp vegetables, tender noodles, and umami-rich oyster sauce.

Bowl of cold sesame veggie noodles

Even though summer is winding down, this always seems to be the hottest time of year, which means no one wants to spend an hour or two in the kitchen making dinner. On blazing hot days, these chilled sesame noodles are one of my go-to “cool down” dishes.

My mom made this dish for us a lot when we were younger because of how easy it is. My brother and I loved the flavors and the fact that it was served ice cold. You can throw in whatever you want as far as veggies go, too. I used my mandoline to thinly slice the veggies, but a steady hand and a sharp knife also work.

Overhead view of cold sesame veggie noodles in bowls

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Cucumber – Julienne this using a mandoline or a knife.
  • Carrot – The carrot also needs to be julienned, but you can buy them that way at the grocery store and save yourself some prep time.
  • Fresh plain Asian noodles – These can often be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, near the tofu. Learn more: Types of Noodles Used in Chinese Cooking
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Scallions

What Is Oyster Sauce?

Oyster sauce is a sweet, umami sauce made with oyster juice, sugar, and salt. If you’ve never had it before, it’s one of my favorite Asian condiments, and don’t worry, it doesn’t really taste like oysters. It’s like a soy sauce paste with a unique taste and it totally transforms noodle dishes.

Hoisin sauce can be substituted for oyster sauce in a pinch, but it’s really not the same. Hoisin sauce is much sweeter, and it’s also thicker than oyster sauce, so you’ll need to thin it out a bit; I recommend thinning it with soy sauce so you can dial down some of the sweetness and up the umami factor.

Overhead view of cold sesame noodles in serving bowl

How to Make Chilled Sesame Noodles

This is the kind of cold noodle recipe that’s perfect for meal prep. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Cook the noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the package instructions.

Prep the veggies. Slice the vegetables and place them in a large bowl. Refrigerate the veggies until you’re ready to assemble the salad.

Cool the noodles. Drain the noodles in a colander, then run cold water over them to cool them down. Alternatively, you can put them in the freezer or fridge to cool them faster. Drain off any excess water.

Assemble. Add the noodles to the bowl with the vegetables and toss everything with the oyster sauce and sesame oil.

Chill. Return the bowl to the refrigerator and chill for 2 to 3 hours.

Serve. Top the noodles with the scallions and serve cold.

Closeup of cold sesame noodles with sesame seeds and scallions

Variations

This recipe is super customizable, so you can easily adapt it to your tastes and preferences. Here are some ideas.

  • Switch up the veggies. You can add spiralized zucchini instead of the cucumbers, shredded daikon radish, blanched green beans or asparagus—seriously, whatever happens to be in season (or in your crisper drawer).
  • Add some protein. Those little marinated tofu cutlets they sell in the refrigerated section at the grocery store are perfect here; just cut them into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Go to town on the garnishes. Add fresh basil leaves, sesame seeds, sriracha, or chili-garlic paste.

Serving Suggestions

I usually eat chilled sesame noodles as a light meal on their own, but you can serve them alongside some of my other favorite Chinese and Taiwanese recipes:

Bowl of cold sesame veggie noodles

How to Store Leftovers

These chilled sesame noodles will last for 2 to 3 days in the fridge. Store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

No, fresh, uncooked vegetables don’t freeze and reheat well, so I don’t recommend trying to freeze these sesame noodles. If you’re looking for a freezer-friendly noodle dish, try Drunken Noodles with Tofu.

Closeup of cold sesame noodles with sesame seeds and scallions

Chilled Sesame Noodles

Chilled sesame noodles make a perfect lunch for hot days, and they’re incredibly easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

  • ½ a large cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 10 ounces fresh plain Asian noodles
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Scallions, to top

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package.
  • In the meantime, slice your veggies and throw them in a large bowl to chill in the fridge.
  • When noodles are done, you'll want to let them cool by running them under cold water (I know, I know) or put them in the freezer or fridge to cool faster.
  • When noodles are cool, drain it of excess water and throw them in the large bowl where the veggies are.
  • Pour the oyster sauce and sesame oil on top and toss to coat everything. Place in fridge for 2-3 hours.
  • Top with scallions and serve cold.

Recipe Notes

These chilled sesame noodles will last for 2 to 3 days in the fridge. Store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 472 kcal | Carbohydrates: 92 g | Protein: 16 g | Fat: 4 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Sodium: 50 mg | Potassium: 550 mg | Fiber: 6 g | Sugar: 7 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chinese noodles, sesame cold noodles, sesame noodles salad
Recipe Rating




Transplant west

Sunday 23rd of June 2019

Wheres the sesame?

Julie Wampler

Wednesday 26th of June 2019

Lol, good question. Forgot to write it in! It's there now.

Hungry for Linkage: Woodbridge Top Chick-fil-A Store, Debating Pending Visit from HQ; Shooting at Hooters; World of Beer Opens

Tuesday 31st of July 2012

[...] Cold sesame veggie noodles. [Table for Two] [...]

Linda

Wednesday 25th of July 2012

Yay! I've been craving to make this cold noodle. How refreshing and perfect for 100+ degrees weather. I love the 'fat' texture of that noodles. Would it be appropriate to make some noise while eating them? :D

kathy

Tuesday 24th of July 2012

way to complain about being stereotyped, and then turn around and post an asian recipe.

Ashley

Tuesday 24th of July 2012

I've looked at this post like 7 times now ... I'm making these noodles!!