My daughter, Robin, is always introducing me to foods out of my comfort zone. (Maybe it’s payback for making her eat all those Gerber strained peas as a baby.) Some years ago she introduced me to a cheap, easy, but tasty dish from her college days. Her roommate had cooked what she called Cold Spicy Noodles, a healthy upgrade from the ramen noodles found in most dorms.
At the time, I protested. Noodles should be warm, I insisted. But she said, nay, nay, these were cold spicy. noodles. To shorten this family saga, let me say that I have come to adore this dish, though I prefer it served closer to room temperature, a concession my daughter now makes to my age and sensibilities.
Slurping Noodles with Family
This past weekend Robin made a big bowl of the old college favorite and invited me over for lunch with her and her husband. Using chop sticks, we slurped noodles from a bowls she had gotten in Asia and finished off the meal with a nibble of Belgian chocolate. It was delightful! Robin says she has tried a number of similar recipes over the years, but always comes back to this one.
I have included the recipe below, though you might be amused by the cooking directions for a similar dish I saw on line. It read: “Drain the cooked noodles and transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Agitate noodles until thoroughly chilled. (I hope those frosty, disturbed noodles don’t fight back like lobsters thrown in a boiling pot!) The directions continued: Combine ingredients and whisk until homogeneous.” (Hmm. . . I’m not sure what amount of whisking it would take to make vegetables and noodles homogeneous.)
The recipe that follows is less descriptive and more academic, as it should be for having spent so many years “in college.”
Cold Spicy Noodles
- 1 chicken breast
- 4 oz. Chinese #4 egg noodles or spaghetti
- 1 tsp. sesame oil (for noodles)
- green onion chopped (for topping)
- chopped peanuts (for topping)
- ¼ cup sesame paste (tahini)
- 3 Tbs. tea or water
- 2 Tbs. hot chili oil
- 3 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
- 3 Tbs. light soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sugar
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup peanut oil
- 2 Tbs. chopped garlic
- 1 Tbs. sesame oil
Boil chicken breast 10-15 minutes, remove from pot and let cool and shred.
Retain water/broth from chicken. Cook noodles in water/broth for 7 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water to cool. Pat dry and sprinkle with the 1 tsp. sesame oil.
For sauce, combine all the ingredients in blender and process until mixture becomes smooth. For best results, chill chicken, noodles and sauce for at least 1 hour before combining.
Divide noodles into bowls. Add shredded chicken (if desired), chopped onion, and chopped peanuts. Top with a few tablespoons of sauce (or as much as you like). Serves 2-3