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Jun 14, 2011 05:32 PM

Authentic sesame noodle recipe?

My favorite "sesame" noodles are from Wu LIang Ye in NYC, a sichuanese restaurant. There was a good sauce with a lo mein type of noodle and sliced scallions. Does anyone have a great recipe for authentic sichuanese sesame noodles?

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  1. Warm or cold dish?
    Appetizer/starter or main course?
    Protiens in the dish? Tofu?

    Sesame noodle interpretations vary widely by regions, states and even countries from what I;ve found over the years.

    "Authentic" is really a misnomer until you cite a version that you or the chef deem as the "authentic" source for the dish you have encountered.

    I'm interested to see what you find tho.

    4 Replies
      1. re: jjjrfoodie

        Agreed. Not enough information. I'm partial to Dunlop's dan dan noodles. But that's a particular taste certainly.

        1. re: c oliver

          dan dan noodles are not sesame noodles.

          1. re: fara

            Dan dan noodles are Sichuan, have sesame paste in them and also noodles. As has been mentioned, it's a very broad category. I was simply trying to get some narrowing of it. Obviously this is NOT the particular Sichuan sesame noodles you're looking for.

      2. Here is Sam Sifton's recipe and article on sesame cold noodles...From 2007...mentions the original places on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that specialized in the dish in the 1970's-1980's...

        3 Replies
          1. re: alanbarnes

            I am going to try this recipe this weekend. I am going to use toasted sesame seeds and put the rest of stuff in a blender....sounds very easy and delicious.

          2. re: penthouse pup

            I just made this - I accidentally doubled the chili paste, though, and I used tahini instead of Chinese sesame paste. It's good, but not quite what I think of when I think take-out sesame noodles. It had too much vinegar for sure, and I think I'd prefer chili oil to the sambal oelek that I used. Also, less (or no) ginger. However, the biggest change I would make is to add either water or chicken broth to the sauce, at least a half a cup. The sauce coated the warm noodles nicely, but as everything cooled and the sauce was soaked up by the noodles, the whole thing became dry and pasty. The tahini substitution actually worked fine - I'm sure the real Chinese stuff would be better, but honestly I find that the peanut butter takes over a bit anyway.

          3. Authentic sesame noodles is really a misnomer, as least when it comes to the Chinese/Sichuan iteration.

            There are as many variations as there grains of rice in a pound of rice, and each can (rightfully) claim to be authentic.

            This is sort of like the Chinese equivalent of American Mac N Cheese. No such thing as a standard authentic recipe.

            Make it the way you like. If you like it, then for all intents and purposes, it's "authentic."

            1. ok thanks for the feedback. I am aware that there are multiple versions!! If anyone has eaten at the restaurant stated in the post and knows of that particular style, I would appreciate a similar recipe.

              Or if someone else has a version that is their favorite, and tastes Chinese to them, as opposed to a version one might encounter at a mall food court, I would appreciate it.

              I feel like this site can be really annoying with trying to argue the same old thing, "there's no such thing as authentic." if you read my post you will see I'm asking for either a recipe similar to that restaurant or one that is a favorite of other people.

              5 Replies
              1. re: fara

                I so agree about your last comment.

                1. re: fara

                  You are who is asking for "authentic." Others are saying that's really not an achievable goal. If you had even added the word "cold," it would have helped. Is that what you're looking for? A cold, Sichuan, sesame noodle recipe? If so, it looks like that NYTs version would suit your fancy. Sure sounds good to me.

                  1. re: fara

                    I think the problem is not simply that you're asking for "authentic", but that you're asking for an "authentic" recipe for an Americanized dish. If you want an authentic Sichuan noodle dish, generally served warm, and often a little soupy, which features sesame paste, you could do worse than one of Fuchsia Dunlop's methods for dan dan mian (she has 2-3 different versions). Otherwise, you should look at the NYT article. I would suggest omitting the garlic, and replacing chili-garlic sauce with chili oil or chili flakes in oil. I would think that dan dan mian, as well as a couple of other Sichuan dry noodle dishes, are the *basis* for the dish you're thinking of. There is a drier Sichuan noodle dish often served cold, but it usually doesn't have sesame sauce. I am not aware of any "authentic" Sichuan noodle dish that is closer to what you're talking about; I think there is a cool noodle dish common in Taiwan which also has a lot of similarities to the dish you're talking about. You may prefer this rendition over other restaurants', but I don't think it's any more "authentic".

                    Getting the balance of the ingredients right is the part that is a bit tricky. I think the NYT recipe is pretty close to the east coast takeout style cold sesame noodles, though there's still something missing.

                    One other tip is to use Chinese sesame paste - Tahini (whether roasted or raw) is not a substitute. And if you use fresh noodles, don't over-cook them. I find that most "authentic" Sichuan restaurants here prepare dan dan mian with flour and water (non-egg) noodles, whether fresh or dry.

                    1. re: will47

                      Great post.

                      I also agree about sesame paste vs. tahini. I recently just let someone sniff from the open jar and the look on his face was lovely :)

                    2. re: fara

                      I feel like this site can be really annoying with trying to argue the same old thing, "there's no such thing as authentic." if you read my post you will see I'm asking for either a recipe similar to that restaurant or one that is a favorite of other people.


                      Well, unless I'm seeing things, the title of your post is "Authentic sesame noodle recipe?"

                      And then in the body of your post, I again must be seeing things because you ask, "Does anyone have a great recipe for authentic sichuanese sesame noodles?"

                      And nowhere in your post do you ask for the recipe from Wu Llang Le, or for anyone's favorite recipe. In fact, the word "favorite" isn't even in your post.

                      I dunno. I must be hallucinating. I apologize. Profusely.

                    3. Like C Oliver, I don;t think anyone is arguing over semantics or authenticity per se', it's just that you are very vague in your original post as to simple things like hot or cold, ingredients in the dish that your "could" see and flavor profiles you tasted. I can only help narrow down the search for a similar recipe with your help since I have not tried that particular dish from that particular restaurant..

                      If that's an unworkable solution, then you will need to find a Chowhounder that has eaten at that specific restaurant (one of 20,000 restaurants in NYC mind you), ordered the same sesame noodle dish and is proficient or trained enough to know exactly what's in it. To me, that's like finding " a needle in the stack of needles" approach.

                      I;m certain there is a recipe somewhere on line that will get you close, but we can only help based upon the narrow spectrum of input factors and a large spectrum of suitable answers that fit those descriptives.

                      Happy Chowing.