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Cold Noodles with Sesame Sauce and Chili Oil

Two kinds of sesame—oil and paste (tahini)—plus the addition of fragrant ginger and salty, sweet, and spicy flavors make for a deliciously complex, nutty sauce.

This cold noodle dish is a great shared appetizer but can easily become the main dish with the addition of shredded chicken and steamed vegetables like broccoli and snow peas. Or, to make this a classic sesame noodle salad, add in thinly sliced crunchy veg like bell pepper, cucumbers, and carrots.

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Cold Noodles with Sesame Sauce

  • Author: Misfits Market
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x



For the chili oil:

For the noodles:

  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil like grapeseed oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sesame paste (tahini)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons black vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 2 tablespoons chili oil (or more for spicier noodles)
  • Scallions, thinly sliced, for serving
  • Sesame seeds, toasted, for serving 


  1. For the chili oil: Add gochugaru, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and salt into a heatproof bowl. Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Carefully pour the hot oil into the chili mixture, then let it completely cool. Stir to combine, then transfer into an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
  2. For the noodles: Heavily salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook noodles 2 minutes past al dente. Strain and toss with neutral oil. Place and refrigerate until noodles are chilled.
  3. For the final dish: In a large bowl, whisk together sesame paste, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, mayonnaise, sugar, salt, and chili oil. Add cold noodles to the bowl and toss until fully coated.
  4. Divide noodles among bowls, top with scallions, sesame seeds, and more chili oil. Serve and enjoy!

Is sesame sauce the same as tahini?

While sesame sauce (or paste) is similar in color and texture to tahini, they aren’t the same thing. Sure, they’re both made from sesame seeds, but the two differ significantly in taste. When sesame paste is made, the sesame seeds are toasted to a rich brown color, making it nuttier and more robust. Sesame paste is common in Chinese cuisine. Tahini is milder in flavor and works well in both savory and sweet dishes. In tahini, sesame seeds are only slightly toasted and blended with oil and salt. This simple sauce is creamy and light. It’s commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, but has surged in popularity and is incorporated into a variety of recipes.

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