Luscious, creamy, and deeply satisfying, these garlic sesame noodles can be whipped up in ten minutes, or even less, depending on how long your noodles will take to cook.
A perfect quick side to go with any Asian-themed meal. My hubby and kids love these with some dim sum and salted edamame pods. They are vegan and vegetarian-friendly, a blessing in my house where we have vegetarians and egg-allergies and dairy-allergies and omnivores.
You can use any noodles you wish, you can even use spaghetti if you can’t get any noodles, although it does take longer to cook.
The garlic sesame sauce is amazing with soba noodles and ramen noodles. The only noodles I don’t really recommend using are udon noodles. I love udon noodles but they’re so thick that you really need to pair them with something more substantial than just sauce.
If you are vegan or allergic to eggs don’t forget to check for egg in the ingredients – most dry noodles don’t contain them but some types do.
For the sake of simplicity and having a pantry-staple meal ready to hand, I usually only make this recipe with dried noodles, but you can of course use fresh ones. Just follow the package instructions to cook and then add the sauce as usual after draining and rinsing the noodles.
Additions and Pairings
Although absolutely delicious by itself, garlic sesame noodles are meant to be a side dish. Make it a main by adding:
- Quick fried crispy broccoli
- Stir-fried vegetables
- A protein of choice (tofu puffs cut into triangles are amazing)
or pair it with some of the following suggestions:
- Dim sum/dumplings
- Tofu Satay
- Easy vegan glazed carrots
- Chili braised tofu
- Sesame-blistered shishito peppers
- Sweet and spicy cauliflower bites
Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients in the image below and see if anything can be swapped, substituted, or reduced/increased.
Tahini: it won’t really taste the same but in a pinch, you can sub peanut butter (the minimally processed kind).
Lime juice: this can be substituted lemon juice, just add two tablespoons instead of two and a half as it is slightly tarter.
Soy sauce: this can be swapped out for coconut aminos, just reduce the sugar by half a tablespoon as coconut aminos are sweeter than soy sauce.
Sesame oil: toasted sesame oil or regular sesame oil will both work well in this recipe. I don’t recommend using any other type of oil.
Sriracha: you can sub in any chili-garlic sauce here, just be cautious and add less – you can always add the full amount later – as it may be much spicier.
Brown sugar: I like the extra flavor brown sugar brings, but you can substitute it out for the liquid sweetener or sugar of your choice, e.g. agave syrup or white sugar. Vegans, beware and know your sugar as many white sugars commonly sold in North America are not vegan. If you would prefer to omit or lessen the amount of sugar then I would suggest you add the lime juice in last and to taste, as otherwise it will be too sour.
Garlic: If you’re not a fan of strong garlic flavors then you can reduce to one clove instead of two.If you’re out of fresh garlic add 1/2 teaspoon ground garlic instead.
Ginger: If you don’t like ginger you can just omit it. If you’re out of fresh ginger try adding 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
Noodles: I mean, these are garlic sesame noodles and they won’t really be without, erm, noodles, but the sauce is also great over sweet potatoes or to dress a salad with lots of crunchy vegetables.
How to make it:
These garlic sesame noodles may be the easiest noodles you’ve ever made! You can make the sauce ahead of time, and then just add cooked noodles. The sauce will thicken up the longer it sits but this is easily remedied by adding a little water and whisking.
Pop the water on to boil for your noodle and get the sauce ready.
Measure the tahini, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, and brown sugar into a small microwave safe bowl or container.
Crush the garlic cloves and peel and finely grated the ginger and add to the sauce ingredients. Mix (as well as you can, it should look like image one below) and zap on high in the microwave, uncovered, for one minute.
When you take out the sauce, whisk it with a fork until the sauce is combined well. You’ll see it is quite thick (image number two above). Add some water to thin it, between two to three tablespoons bit by bit, whisking the water in each time you add some until it has reached your preferred consistency.
Taste the sauce and add more Sriracha suace if you like it spicier.
Add your noodles to the water when it comes to the boil and reduce the heat slightly so it’s at a lively simmer. Cook for the amount of time stipulated on the package (usually five-seven minutes).
While the noodles are cooking, finely chop the green part of the green or spring onions. When the noodles are done, drain and rinse with cold water for one minute – it’s important to stop the noodles cooking or they’ll absorb a lot of sauce and get gummy.
Tap the strainer or fine colander to get rid of excess water, and return the noodles to the pot and the heat (if serving warm). Toss the noodles with the sauce and most of the chopped spring onions and sesame seeds, reserving a little of each for garnish.
When warmed to your preference, take off the stove and serve, sprinkling the remaining sesame seeds and spring onion on top.
If serving chilled simply don’t return to the heat and pop in the fridge for at least half an hour. Enjoy!
You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to five days. Noodles which have already been dressed with the garlic sesame sauce are best reheated on the hob in a pan, with a tablespoon of water or two added to loosen the sauce, which will have thickened up.
If you know ahead of time that you won’t eat all the noodles in one sitting or are prepping for lunch etc., store the sauce you won’t use separately to the cooked noodles and combine just before eating. Again the sauce may thicken up in the fridge so just loosen with a little water.
Leftover garlic sesame sauce also makes an AMAZING dip for dim sum and other dumplings. It’s even awesome with vegetable crudites, and it can also be frozen if you want to enjoy it another time.
Just be sure to nuke the sauce in the microwave on high for one minute and whisk again once defrosted as the tahini will separate.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating in the recipe box, review, or comment below.
Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian), I love seeing all your creations!
- 8.5oz dried noodles (240g)
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 2.5 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
- 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
- 2-3 tbsp water to thin
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ inch ginger (1 tsp grated)
- 2 green onions (use the green parts only)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Put water on to boil for noodles. Measure and add tahini, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and brown sugar to a small bowl or microwaveable container.
- Peel and finely grate ginger and measure 1 tsp and add to the sauce ingredients.
- Crush the garlic cloves and add to sauce ingredients.
- Stir sauce ingredients (they won't mix easily yet) and place in the microwave and heat on high for one minute.
- Add the noodles to the boiling water and set a timer for the minutes specified on the package.
- Take the sauce out of the microwave and whisk with a fork. It will be thick, add 2-3 tbsp water little by little to loosen until it's as thick as you wish.
- Finely chop the green parts of the green onions.
- When the noodles are done, drain and rinse well with cold water. Tap the strainer/colander to remove excess water and return to the pot and toss with the sauce and most of the green onion and sesame seeds (reserve some for garnish).
- To serve chilled, empty into a container with a lid and move to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- To serve warm, return to the stovetop until as warm as desired.
- Garnish and serve.
You can sub any chili garlic sauce for Sriracha, and the sweetener of choice for brown sugar.
Increase the Sriracha if you like it hot!
Amount Per Serving Calories 274Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 0mgSodium 497mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 3gSugar 6gProtein 8g