Cold Spicy Peanut Sesame Noodles

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    These cold spicy peanut sesame noodles are nostalgic because it reminds me of childhood and my mother's intricate school lunches. Spicy peanut sesame noodles are served cold so they're incredibly refreshing on a warm day!

    A little back story on my cold spicy peanut sesame noodles recipe

    When my brother and I were in grade school, I remember my mom always made us the coolest lunches.

    By coolest, I mean, it was always unique and diversified.

    We didn’t have peanut butter and jelly, my mom would go out of the way to make sure our lunches were interesting so we wouldn’t get tired of them.

    Some days, we’d get sushi for lunch or fried rice or even a fried egg sandwich.

    These cold spicy peanut sesame noodles are nostalgic because it reminds me of childhood and my mother's intricate school lunches. Spicy peanut sesame noodles are served cold so they're incredibly refreshing on a warm day!

    My mom was seriously multi-talented in the kitchen when it came to lunches.

    One of my favorite dishes my mom made for us were cold peanut noodles.

    There was something about the ice cold noodles and the creamy peanut butter mixture that made the noodles addicting.

    This cold spicy peanut sesame noodle recipe is a similar take to the classic peanut noodles that she’d make for us.

    These cold spicy peanut sesame noodles are nostalgic because it reminds me of childhood and my mother's intricate school lunches. Spicy peanut sesame noodles are served cold so they're incredibly refreshing on a warm day!

    This version is a lot spicier but it’s just as delicious. Jason and I would keep sneaking into the fridge to eat a few noodles. They didn’t last us long at all.

    It’s SO easy to make and it’s perfect for school lunches because you don’t have to worry about the refrigeration part of the lunch. It’s best to eat it cold/room temperature! :)

    The sauce for these cold spicy peanut sesame noodles is irresistible and totally makes the dish what it is!

    Let’s get started on common questions that may arise with these cold spicy peanut sesame noodles!

    Can I use another nut butter?

    Sure! Cashew butter would be wonderfully delicious.

    These cold spicy peanut sesame noodles are nostalgic because it reminds me of childhood and my mother's intricate school lunches. Spicy peanut sesame noodles are served cold so they're incredibly refreshing on a warm day!

    Can this be eaten warm?

    You can eat it warm but the beauty of this dish is when it’s eaten cold/chilled!

    What kind of peanut butter do I use?

    I would definitely use smooth but as far as natural or regular, I used regular (like JIF), but natural works just as well.

    I think your sauce might be slightly more liquidy if you use natural though.

    How do I make this less spicy?

    Use less of the spicy garlic sauce.

    What if I don’t have a blender?

    You can use a food processor!

    These cold spicy peanut sesame noodles are nostalgic because it reminds me of childhood and my mother's intricate school lunches. Spicy peanut sesame noodles are served cold so they're incredibly refreshing on a warm day!

    Can I use another type of pasta shape?

    Mmm, spaghetti or medium rice noodles would be best in this dish.

    How long can this stay out of the fridge?

    At least 6-8 hours for sure.

    **If your child or children around them have peanut allergies, please be conscious of this as this is dish contains peanuts! Also, if you or your child don’t like spicy foods, you can tone down the spice level by reducing the chili garlic sauce, or simply omit it altogether. The sauce will still taste great!

    Other noodle recipes that are quick and easy:

    4.8 from 20 votes

    Cold Spicy Peanut Sesame Noodles

    These cold spicy peanut sesame noodles are reminiscent of my childhood and my mother's intricate school lunches. Spicy peanut sesame noodles are served cold so they're incredibly refreshing on a warm day!
    Prep Time: 1 hr
    Cook Time: 25 mins
    Total Time: 1 hr 25 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 6
    Calories: 505kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
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    • 3/4 cup to 1 pound dried spaghetti noodles, or Asian rice noodles
    • 2/3 cup water
    • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
    • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
    • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
    • 1/4 cup roasted peanut oil
    • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, plus more for topping
    • 3 tsp chili garlic sauce
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 1: 1- inch piece of ginger, peeled
    • 1 clove small of garlic
    • Fresh scallions, chopped, for topping


    • In a large stockpot, bring water to boil then add spaghetti noodles and cook according to box. Drain well when done.
    • In a jar of a blender, combine water, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, peanut oil, sesame seeds, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Process until smooth.
    • After pasta is done cooking and drained, add to a large glass bowl. Pour the peanut sesame sauce over the noodles and toss to coat. The mixture/sauce will be very runny and it will look like you made way too much. Trust me, once you pop it in the fridge, the sauce sets up and it’s perfect :)
    • Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour – the longer, the better. I had mine in there for at least three. I love when it’s super cold and the sauce is nice and thick.
    • Toss noodles again prior to serving. Top with fresh scallions and sesame seeds.


    Nutrition Facts
    Cold Spicy Peanut Sesame Noodles
    Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
    Calories 505 Calories from Fat 171
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 19g29%
    Carbohydrates 72g24%
    Fiber 4g16%
    Sugar 13g14%
    Protein 12g24%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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    Recipe Rating


  • Jess says:

    This recipe is fantastic! I didn’t have peanut oil on hand, so I just added a tad more sesame oil (about 2tsp), and maybe 2 tbsp of canola oil. The sauce is so delicious I could have drank it. I added fresh julienned carrots and cucumbers to the noodles, and topped the noodles with spring onions, cilantro, chopped roasted peanuts, and served with lime wedges.

    For rice noodles, I recommend increasing the sauce by 50% or even doubling it. I ended up making 1 lb rice noodles, and I decided to make another batch of the sauce after seeing how the noodles soaked it up and muted the sauce’s flavor.

    Absolutely fantastic recipe! I’ll be making it again soon.

  • Cat says:

    We had cool lunches growing up too!
    This recipe is spectacular! I found your site while googling for cold noodle recipes for school lunches, I’ve made it four times, all my kids love it, I can sneak in veggies, it uses pantry staples, it’s easy AND delicious!

  • sara says:

    can’t find the recipe or what you have to say for the ads and your headline banner.. you spend too much space on advertising..won’t come back to this site…can’t even get rid of the adds at the bottom…

    • Julie says:

      hi, recipe is always at the bottom of the page if you scroll down. you can get rid of the ad at the bottom with the big teal X in the upper right corner. i hope you know that content creators have ads to pay for their website costs, food costs, photography costs. we offer you 100% FREE recipes and resources. if you would prefer me to charge a monthly or yearly subscription for an ad-free experience, then i am happy to add your name to that list!

  • Jess @ Gas Stove Girl says:

    I just made this for dinner last night, and now that I am currently enjoying leftovers for lunch that taste just as good as they did yesterday, I knew I had to comment. These noodles are divine. The sauce is perfect. Finally a peanut sauce that doesn’t get clumpy or gluey. I used soba noodles and added julienne cucumber plus some shredded chicken for an extra oompf. I always love your recipes inspired from cooking with your Mom! Thanks, Juli!

    • Julie says:

      Awesome, thanks for letting me know!!!

  • Sara says:

    I wanted to try this to save money on lunches for an upcoming road trip and I just had to taste it first as a midnight snack once it was chilled. It’s SO delicious. I followed the recipe exactly, including the sesame seeds and scallions on top, and it was perfect! It would probably be delicious with some chicken and/or cucumber and carrots. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

    • Julie says:

      So happy to hear this!

  • Rachel says:

    I just made this after having the ingredients on hand and recipe bookmarked for MONTHS. I’m so happy I finally made it. The sauce is so well balanced, you really nailed it. Can’t wait for it to set up in the fridge so I can devour it. Thanks!!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      So glad you found this and trying it!

  • Barbara Geraghty says:

    Loved it clean plate club here

  • Sara says:

    Just made this for the second time and added some shredded rotisserie chicken on top. Was soooo good! Definitely would recommend.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Great idea!!

  • Rob says:

    I loveeee this recipe, so simple and quick! Well depending on how long you like to let the sauce soak…anyway I’m wondering if you can substitute the roasted peanut oil for a regular peanut oil or some other oil? The roasted stuff isn’t always easy to find…thanks!!!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yep, you can totally use regular peanut oil!

  • Alicia Smith says:

    I’ve been looking for this recipe forever!! My Guamanian chef grandfather was friends/colleagues with a lot of Chinese cooks when he was in the navy during WWII (all the minority dudes were relegated to the kitchen back then, as the military was still segregated). He used to make this dish for us when we were kids, and I’ve been trying to replicate it ever since. Your recipe tastes EXACTLY like his version. I made it for my mom tonight, and she almost cried. Thank you for the recipe, it’s such a wonderful nostalgic treat.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Oh wow, that’s awesome!!!

  • Alicia Smith says:

    Sorry, I forgot to leave a review! Five stars all the way!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thank you!!

  • missie says:

    I must have messed something up in the sauce. I made it last night and today it is thick and dry. What can I add at the last minute to make it less thick and heavy?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Hi, sorry for the delay. I have been on holiday. You can add more water to it.

  • Marissa says:

    This recipe is AWESOME. I always get compliments and am asked fur the recipe every time I make it for guests. Thanks for sharing!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      That’s awesome!! Thank you!

  • Shirley says:

    I made this recipe a couple months ago for a friend and now every time I am going to her place for dinner or the weekend she says I must bring these noodles. So yummy and a big hit with everyone even my vegan friends!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      So great to hear!

  • Evelyn says:

    I don’t understand the 1:1- inch ginger. That sounds like a lot of ginger. Do you mean a 1 inch long piece?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Meaning one piece of one inch long ginger. You are correct!

  • Kamila Chu says:

    This is the best cold noodle recipe I found! The perfect blend of ingredients and awesome taste. Ever since moving to Houston from NYC I have been in search of cold noodles. To my surprise, this perfectly refreshing in hot weather dish is nowhere to be found in the Chinese restaurants around here. Well, now I make cold noodles at home and my daughter absolutely loves them! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      thanks so much!!

  • Kelly says:

    This recipe sounds amazing! I haven’t made this yet so I can’t rate it but do I actually have to toast the sesame seeds?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      no, you don’t. they typically come toasted already and if not, then don’t worry about it!

  • Elly says:

    How many servings does this recipe make? I’m sorry if it is said in the recipe, I have not been able to find it. Thank you!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      The recipe says 6

  • Deb says:

    So glad I stumbled upon your recipe! It is delicious! I had a hard time finding a good chili garlic sauce. I was wondering what brand you like to use?
    Thanks again for the great recipe!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I like using the Huy Fong brand. It has a bright green lid!

  • Sarajo Wentling says:

    The sauce was really yummy! I used a package of soba noodles when I made it. Added a shredded chicken breast, red bell pepper slices, matchstick carrots, and edamame to make it a delicious meal!

  • Edythe Raskopf says:

    Made this recipe with a small amount of leftover spaghetti (I cut the recipe in half), in just five minutes. It’s in the frig in record time. This recipe is far superior to the one I previously used, where the ingredients had to be simmered for 20 minutes. Definitely a keeper!

  • Eileen says:

    Wow this was delicious. Easy to make. I will definitely make this again. Thank you

  • Deb says:

    This will be a new family go to recipe. Made it this week and it was excellent. The noodles really do soak up the sauce the longer it sits in the fridge. The only change I made was adding some thinly sliced red bell pepper for some crunch and color and extra sesame seeds.

  • Tahleen says:

    Complex flavors and so delicious and easy. Thank you



  • Green parrot says:

    Can I use ginger garlic paste instead of fresh ginger and garlic?

    • Julie Wampler says:


  • Hilary says:

    I’ve tried several different recipes for this dish and this is hands down the best! I was missing several ingredients and it was still delicious! My 9 year old said I should open a restaraunt!

  • Dustin says:

    This was great! I improvised a little . I hydrated come chili’s and added chili oil. It really built up the heat like a nice Pad Thai.

  • cheryl says:

    Oh my goodness – wonderful cold noodles. Best I’ve had since the first time I tried them in New York. Thank you so much – can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.

  • Petra says:

    I make this all the time and it’s fantastic! Works well with grocery store ramen noodles, too. (don’t use the flavor packet)

  • Ellen Hicinbothem says:

    I was searching for some vegan recipes that would do well in our weekend camping cooler and found this one. It was a huge hit!

    My husband and I both loved it and it was super easy to throw together in the craziness that is packing for camp. I plan to add in whatever veg we have on hand next time but it was excellent as-is.

    This will be in our regular menu for sure both camping and at home! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Tighe Matthew Brazeau says:

    Excellent! Just made and put in the refrigerator and although it hadn’t sat in the sauce long it tastes teriffic. Hands down better then take out. Thanks!

  • Marie Theresa says:

    Too much liquid does not taste good leaves a funny tasting amount

  • Andreina Vitto says:

    Love this recipe so easy

  • Pallavi says:

    Is there a substitute or an alternative for sesame oil ? It’s not commonly used in India and therefore I don’t have an easy access to sesame oil

    • Julie Wampler says:

      unfortunately, sesame oil is what makes majority of the flavor in the sauce but you could omit if you wanted to just have straight up peanut flavored noodles; it would taste fairly similar!

  • Samantha Hill says:

    This is some of the tastiest sauce I think I’ve ever tasted. It is RICH with flavor!! I use shallot powder rather than garlic and it is just amazing. I couldn’t stop taste testing it. Doubling the sauce really helps!!

  • Heidi says:

    This was great! I’ve tried making this before, but the noodles always came out gluey. These came out perfect. I added a bag of broccoli slaw for crunch and veggies, and it worked really well – thanks!

  • Mehndi says:

    OMG SO DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!! I made this for the family today and they just loved it!! Light, filling and so tasty. Will absolutely make this again!! Thank you

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