Saturday, June 16, 2012
I can’t believe how many posts I’ve written that are basically completely done but were never posted.
Yesterday someone asked me for my sesame noodle recipe. I told her I would send the link to the post I wrote about it and then remembered I was going to put up a revised version but never did. I looked to see what I had written and there was a more or less finished post from January 2011 on this very subject. I think I wanted to test it one more time or get a picture or something, and then got distracted and never managed to get back to it.
Enough with that.
Here’s the revised version of the sesame noodle recipe.
This is definitely one of my top ten favorite recipes. Really good, really easy, really cheap. Great to make for a party or potluck because you can easily make a big batch, and also it travels well with minimal refrigeration, and is very filling, so I often make it and take with me on Scrap trips. It’s just a winner all the way around.
And if I ever manage to take a picture of it, I’ll add that. But for now, this is what I’ve got. Including the full January 2011 version of the post that I wrote and never posted. Because I hate to waste writing almost as much as I hate to waste food.
I called my friend Ann to check in last week. She said, “I’m looking at your blog right now.” I said, “Really?” I was trying to remember what I’d written lately, and if it was worth reading. She said, “I was looking for the sesame noodle recipe.”
I said, “Did you find it? It’s called Deb’s Sesame Noodles.” Then I remembered that I was working on a revision, and that I have it pretty much figured out.
I said, “Oh, but I have a new version, it’s better. It uses toasted sesame oil, and makes a more reasonable amount, the other one is huge.” I told her I’d put it together and send it to her later that day or the next.
She said, “Why don’t you put that up for everyone, instead of just sending it to me?”
Such a humanitarian! She’s always looking out for the greater good.
So here’s the revised sesame noodle recipe, adjusted to work with about 8 ounces of pasta (half a standard-sized package) and to use toasted sesame oil and extra tahini in place of the earlier recipe’s large amount of sesame oil. [Ed. correction 7/7/2012: The recipe as given is enough for a full package of pasta; if you want 8 oz, cut the recipe in half.]
Deb’s Sesame Noodles Redux
1 to 2 gloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 Tbsp ginger root, grated
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3-4 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp canola oil
8 ounces linguine (or spaghetti)
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted lightly
2-3 green onions, sliced thin
Combine the first nine ingredients (up to the pasta) in a bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust vinegars, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic until you have the combination that appeals to you of tart, salty, sweet, sesame, and garlicky. (This is a very flexible recipe, basically you can adjust everything to taste.)
If the flavor seems too strong, you can add a few teaspoons of light vegetable oil to replace some of the original recipe’s 1 cup of sesame oil. It will dilute the flavors somewhat and make it stick to the noodles better than thinning with water.
Toss the hot, cooked pasta with the marinade and let sit, refrigerated, for at least four hours. (It’s best made a day ahead, so it can sit overnight and the marinade can soak all the way through the noodles.)
When ready to serve, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and scallions over the top.
This may not be common knowledge so I’ll offer this little frugal tip: you can keep ginger root pretty much indefinitely in the freezer and grate on a microplane grater straight out of the freezer, no need to thaw. I wrap the unused portion in plastic wrap then put that in a second plastic bag so it will keep longer without starting to taste like the freezer.
(And yes, I know that ginger root is cheap, it’s just easier to make a recipe when you have all the ingredients on hand. I got into an extended discussion about this a number of years ago when I gave my tip for taking unused tomato paste out of the can and freezing tablespoon-sized dollops wrapped in waxed paper. The person I was talking to was like, “Okay, yeah, but tomato paste is like seventy-five cents. Do you really need to save seventy-five cents?” And had to think for a moment about whether I wanted to out myself and say, “Well yes, in fact I do need to save seventy-five cents.” In the end, I decided against it. Instead I talked about the principle of the whole thing and being wasteful — it’s just silly to buy food and throw it away when you don’t have to.)