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Sesame noodles are a perfect cold lunch on 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.

Sesame noodles in a bowl garnished with sesame seeds.
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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 cold 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. I’ve always loved the rich umami flavors in the dressing, and the fact that these noodles are served ice cold. You can throw in whatever you want as far as veggies go, too. I make mine with crunchy carrots, plus cool cucumber and scallions for a pop of green.

Why You’ll Love This Sesame Noodles Recipe

  • Cool and refreshing. Sure, Asian noodles are delicious in comfort food dishes like spicy chili garlic noodles. And served cold, noodles can be refreshing, too.
  • Full of flavor. Tossed in a blend of oyster sauce and sesame oil with crisp julienne veggies, these sesame noodles are simple yet packed with umami flavor.
  • Easy to customize. Easily change up this cold sesame noodles recipe to suit your tastes. Make spicy noodles, add more veggies, sprinkle in some seasoning. It’s up to you!
Overhead view of cold sesame noodles served in bowls, next to scallions in a small dish.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here are some quick notes on what you’ll need to make this slurpable cold noodle salad. Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for a printable ingredients list.

  • 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 – When it comes to sesame noodles, fresh egg noodles (like lo mein noodles) are better than dry noodles, IMO. See below.
  • Oyster sauce – Oyster sauce is a sweet umami sauce made with oyster juice, sugar, and salt. If you’ve never had it before, don’t worry, it doesn’t really taste like oysters. You’ll find oyster sauce in the international food aisle at the grocery store, or at Asian supermarkets.
  • Sesame oil – Sesame oil perfectly rounds out the flavors in this noodle recipe. Try not to skip it! If you don’t have any, however, canola oil works in a pinch.
  • Scallions – Freshly chopped green onions. You can also use chives.

What Are the Best Noodles for Sesame Noodles?

I like to make my sesame noodles with fresh Asian noodles from the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Fresh noodles are more slippery, and won’t soak up so much of the dressing. If you can’t find traditional Asian noodles, however, you can make this sesame noodle recipe with pretty much any noodle, fresh or dried.

Learn more about the Types of Noodles Used in Chinese Cooking.

Overhead view of sesame noodles in a large bowl with serving utensils.

How to Make Cold Sesame Noodles

This is the kind of cold noodle recipe that’s perfect for meal prep. Here’s a step-by-step showing what you’ll need to do. Scroll to the recipe card for printable instructions.

  • 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 sesame noodles topped with sesame seeds and scallions.

Tips for Success

Cool and fresh sesame noodles are pretty straightforward. In case you need the extra guidance, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Choose the right noodles. Fresh Asian egg noodles are best, but other types of fresh or dried noodles will also work, such as rice noodles or ramen noodles. However, avoid vermicelli or glass noodles as they’re too thin.
  • Finely slice the veggies. I used my mandoline to thinly slice the veggies, but a steady hand and a sharp knife also work.
  • No oyster sauce? 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. I recommend thinning it with soy sauce so you can dial down some of the sweetness and up the umami factor.
  • Don’t overcook the noodles. Fresh Asian noodles cook quickly. Follow the directions on the package, making sure that they don’t overcook and become mushy.

Add-Ins and 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. Add spiralized zucchini instead of the cucumbers, shredded daikon radish, blanched green beans or asparagus, bean sprouts, or edamame. Whatever happens to be in season (or in your crisper drawer).
  • Add some protein. Bulk up your cold noodles with shredded chicken, leftover Crispy Beef, or Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu.
  • Different dressing. Borrow the creamy peanut dressing from my Soba Noodle Salad. They might technically not be sesame noodles in this case, but they’ll still be delicious.
  • Go to town on the garnishes. Add fresh basil leaves, sesame seeds, sriracha, or chili-garlic paste.
  • Serve it warm. Yes, sesame noodles can be served warmed up, too! If you’re going to make a cooked version, swap zucchini for the cucumbers. Cook the noodles and prep the veggies, and then add everything to a skillet to sauté with the sauce until warmed through.

How to Serve Sesame Noodles

I usually eat cold sesame noodles as a light meal on their own. They’re also great to serve as a side dish to Orange Chicken or a Chinese Cabbage Stir Fry. In hot weather, enjoy these noodles next to Chicken Lettuce Wraps or Rainbow Summer Rolls and fun appetizers like Scallion Pancakes, or these flaky Chinese Curry Pockets [咖哩餃]. For another refreshing option, try this Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad.

A fork lifting cold sesame noodles from a large white bowl.

How to Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerate. 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?

Unfortunately not. Fresh, uncooked vegetables don’t freeze and defrost 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.

5 from 1 vote

Sesame Noodles

Cold sesame noodles make a perfect lunch for hot days! This recipe is incredibly easy to make with fresh noodles and crisp veggies tossed in umami-rich sauce.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • ½ a large cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 10 ounces (284 g) fresh plain Asian noodles
  • ¼ cup (58 g) oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Scallions, to top
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  • 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.


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


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

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.

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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 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

  2. Julie, I’m so sorry. Some people can just be complete ass holes. And for some reason, “producers” seem to be more often afflicted with that condition.

    But, I love these noodles :)

  3. Sorry that had to happen to you! Don`t even worry since better offers will come your way! :)

    & these noodles are a total win for the summer.

  4. UGH! My “dream” job out of college as a journalism major was writing the 4:30 news for NBC in Los Angeles. I was their on location news writer chasing down fires, floods, car chases…always in a helicopter always in the “crazy”. And then after a few years I couldn’t stand the sensationalism and the bull crap that goes along with “the news”. It’s awful and her story line doesn’t surprise me one bit and it’s stupid and awful. It’s their loss, you would have been adorable with your sprinkles!!

  5. OMG..How freaking ridiculous. I think I would have been sitting there with my north wide open in awe. I would have told her to shove it up her ass.