I’m often inspired by the food I see at the market or in my kitchen, and that’s how I decide what to cook. This recipe is different; I was inspired by my wok. I saw it hiding in its cabinet one morning, decided I wanted to use it, and defrosted some chicken in preparation.
It doesn’t have to take long to produce a healthful and appetizing meal. This meal consists of protein and vegetables thrown into a wok and cooked with soy sauce. If you don’t have a wok, a regular large saucepan will do the trick, too.
Ina Garten’s Szechuan noodles are awesome, but I wanted to see if I could make my own version of sesame noodles. I’ve eaten them plenty of times at restaurants and I’ve tried out enough recipes to be able to reproduce them at home.
Last time I made them, Ricky Dweck mentioned that he likes to put coconut milk in his sesame noodles, so I made sure to try that out.
These make a great side dish (served with Szechuan noodles, for example) or snack and they’re easy to prepare once you get the hang of forming the pancakes (which took me a while, since the directions were kinda fuzzy and my dough was really sticky).
I decided to try out a new recipe for Asian-y peanut-y noodles and remembered seeing Ina Garten make some for a barbecue on the beach (don’t ask me how this fits in with a barbecue), so I searched for “sesame noodles” on the Food Network’s website and didn’t see it. I didn’t think I imagined this particular episode of Barefoot Contessa, so I narrowed my results by chef – and these Szechuan noodles were the first, third, and fourth hit (out of four).
Okay, so maybe the words sesame and Szechuan aren’t interchangeable, and maybe you don’t barbecue them, but I made them anyway, and I’m glad I did. The ingredients were overwhelming at first: Fresh ginger? Tahini? Sherry vinegar? But I ended up having many of them in the fridge/pantry already. I bought almost everything else from Whole Foods, and for the rest I left out or substituted with something I had lying around.
All of the spices and ingredients resulted in delicious layers of flavor, and although I made way too much (a whole pound of pasta for two people!?) I was able to enjoy leftovers, since this dish is just as tasty at room temperature, or even out of the fridge, than it is hot.