Simple Sesame Noodles – made with ramen or thin spaghetti, a sweet and savory richly flavored sauce, crunchy peanuts and sesame seeds. An easy recipe thats great for busy days!
Satisfying Sesame Noodles and Variations
That saucy noodle craving is real and this recipe (with it’s delicious Asian flavors) is the perfect way to satisfy it!
This versatile recipe can be served as is or you could also include a protein such as chicken or shrimp.
Another great option is to sneak in sautéed vegetables such as broccoli, matchstick carrots, cabbage, bell pepper or pea pods.
You could also swap out the pasta or noodles for a healthier option. There are lots of choices out there now, with things like brown rice noodles, whole wheat noodles or pasta, lentil or chick pea based noodles, or others including things like spinach.
The key is to stick with this incredible sauce and you will want this dish on repeat!
Sesame Noodle Ingredients and Possible Substitutes
- Thin spaghetti or dry ramen: Lo mein would be great too. You could also use fresh ramen, I’d use about 1 lb.
- Cornstarch: Another option is arrowroot starch.
- Soy sauce: Tamari can be used as well.
- Toasted sesame oil: This is the darker sesame oil found in the Asian foods section of the grocery store. This ingredient is a must in these sesame noodles, however, you can adjust the amount if you’d like.
- Honey: In a pinch brown/granulated sugar or maple syrup would work too.
- Rice vinegar: Another option is white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- Creamy peanut butter: Regular creamy or natural peanut butter can be used. Crunchy is fine too, just use a heaped tablespoon.
- Sriracha: I love this added heat, but of course I add more to taste. Adjust according to personal preference.
- Vegetable oil: Another type of oil like peanut oil, olive oil, canola oil works fine too.
- Garlic: Preferably use fresh.
- Ginger: Preferably stick with fresh as well.
- Green onions: Sautéed diced yellow onion would also bring that oniony flavor here.
- Sesame seeds: You can use toasted or raw, white or black.
- Roasted peanuts: Cashews would be tasty too. Nuts aren’t critical but offer a nice textural contrast.
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How to Make Sesame Noodles
- Cook noodles: Cook spaghetti or ramen according to package directions.
- Make sauce mixture: Meanwhile in a small mixing bowl whisk together water and cornstarch. Mix in soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, rice vinegar, peanut butter and sriracha (peanut butter will remain separated at this point).
- Saute aromatics: Heat vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute until just barely deepening in color, about 30 seconds.
- Thicken sauce over heat: Pour in sauce mixture and cook and whisk just until it barely simmers and thickens lightly. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm until pasta is ready.
- Toss noodles with sauce: Toss sauce mixture with drained noodles. Garnish servings with green onions, peanuts and sesame seeds, serve warm.
- Cook ramen or pasta just to an al dente tenderness so it’s not soggy and holds up well to the sauce.
- Be sure to allow sauce to thicken so it nicely coats the noodles rather than just running down and under them.
- If you want it extra saucy, double the sauce but use low sodium soy sauce so it doesn’t become overly salty and inedible.
- Preferably use unsalted nuts since the dish is already salty.
- Also, don’t salt the noodle/pasta water.
- If needed you can add a little water to the sauce if it’s too salty to your taste, if it’s not salty enough add in a little more soy sauce or pinch of salt.
Note About Leftovers
As with any noodle or pasta, the sauce will get absorbed into the noodles as they sit so you can add a splash of broth to thin them or make extra sauce to add later (again though use low-sodium soy sauce).
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- 10 oz. thin spaghetti, dry ramen or lo mein
- 2 Tbsp water or unsalted chicken broth
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce, then more to taste
- 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1 1/2 tsp sriracha, or more to taste
- 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil or light olive oil
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp ginger
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- Cook spaghetti or ramen according to package directions.
- Meanwhile in a small mixing bowl whisk together water and cornstarch. Mix in soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, rice vinegar, peanut butter and sriracha (peanut butter will remain separated at this point).
- Heat vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant until just barely deepening in color (but not browning), about 30 seconds.
- Pour in sauce mixture and cook and whisk just until it barely simmers and thickens lightly. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm until pasta is ready (note if needed you can add a little water if it's salty to your taste, if it's not salty enough add in a little more soy sauce).
- Toss sauce mixture with drained noodles. Garnish servings with green onions, peanuts and sesame seeds, serve warm.