for the sauce:
1/4 cup Chinese “pure” sesame paste*
1/4-1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chile-garlic sauce
1/2 tablespoon hot sesame oil
12 oz wide egg “lo mein” noodles
1 1/2 cups sliced cold, roasted duck
10 oz sugar snap peas (raw or lightly steamed)
3 scallions, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 small cabbage, thinly sliced
for the sauce: (can be made a few hours ahead of time)
Place all ingredients in a blender, blend until a smooth, pourable sauce forms, adding additional water if needed.
for the noodles:
Cook according to package instructions, add a couple drops of hot sesame oil to keep them from sticking and allow to cool.
for the salad: (minutes before serving)
In a large bowl, toss together the noodles, cabbage, scallions, and sauce. Top with sliced duck, snap peas and sesame seeds.
*It’s made from roasted whole white sesame seeds. Purchase at Chinese grocery stores or online. Tahini isn’t quite the same (it is made from unhulled, raw sesame seeds and has a different flavor profile) but can be used with tasty, if not quite as intended results. If using tahini, I suggest adding a drizzle of toasted sesame oil to the sauce as you mix it.
It’s been ages since I’ve made sesame noodles. I’ll admit, I posted a fairly similar recipe
a couple of summers ago so you aren’t imagining things if this looks familiar to you but I made it again and tweaked it to be more winter-appropriate. Sugar snap peas are available year-round now (I think the ones I bought were grown in a greenhouse?) and add a lot crunch and an appreciated respite from winter squash. I love cabbage so I tossed it in raw for even more crunch. I also went with wider, dried noodles this time. I enjoy fresh noodles a lot but these are much easier to find (all of my local supermarkets carry them) and since they are shelf-stable, I don’t have to plan ahead so much to make this dish.
Having leftover duck is a luxury, I know! I actually heated up a frozen half duck portion (look for these in more high-end supermarkets) vs roasting a whole duck myself because it was our lunch for our New Year’s Eve game theme (duck is game meat!) and I didn’t have the time or energy. It makes the perfect amount for two people to have hearty portions. If you don’t have duck, leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken would be great or even tofu or steamed shrimp.
The leftovers (or plan for this) are great for packing for cold lunches too. Even though it’s cold out, it’s okay to eat some cold food.
It’s a really satisfying meal and every time I make it, I wonder why I don’t make it more often and how easy it is.
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