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  • Writer's pictureLiisa Lee

NYC Style Sesame Noodles

One of my favorite take-out dishes from my NYC musical theatre days is sesame noodles. Served warm or cold (I prefer warm to get that hit of aromatic spice), these were always served with a Lot of sauce in NYC, and just aren't the same on the west coast.

Since its invention in NYC's Chinatown in the '70's (Thank you Shorty Tang), it's seen a huge variety of iterations, from no veggies to tons of veggies and all gradients of spice. There was a great, tiny little spot on 71st and 1st (2nd?) that was always busy, served free wine while you waited, and really delicious food. I miss that little spot.

So here's my gluten-free take on this delicious Chinese-American east coast classic.

Prep: 15 mins Total Time: 25 min Serves: 4


1 pound rice noodles (use any kind you like, just nothing thinner than spaghetti)

3 tbsp sesame oil

3 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce

3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth, but if you like crunchy, have at it!)

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic)

1 tsp garlic chili sauce, chili crisp or chili oil to taste

2 Persian cucumbers sliced thin into batons

1/2 red bell pepper sliced very thin

1/4 cup roast chopped peanuts

sesame seeds for garnish


  • bring a pot of water to a boil and cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Don't let them get mushy! Strain, toss with a splash of sesame oil and set aside

  • in a large bowl toss together sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, bell pepper and chili sauce.

  • add noodles to bowl and toss to combine

  • adjust seasoning to taste and transfer to serving bowl

  • garnish with peanuts, sesame seeds, and cucumber and enjoy.

Feel free to serve this with cheap-but-tasty white zinfandel and a sound track of bustling NYC Summer evening streets.

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