Sesame Noodles with Chili Oil

This made for a nice side dish for our night out grilling. We served these room temperature. This recipe was the inspiration, though I deviated slightly. Tip: I made these a few hours ahead of time, and I think it was a bit detrimental to the overall recipe (the sauce got a little clumpy), so I’d just toss the noodles with dressing just before serving.

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4 scallions, whites and greens separated, thinly sliced
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons Sichuan pepper, coarsely chopped
12 ounces thin ramen noodles or spaghettini
Kosher salt
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 scallion, sliced thin
1/2 cup cooked asparagus, cut into pieces (totally optional; I just had some leftover from the kabobs)
a few drops commercial chili oil, for color and more spice

Cook scallion whites, shallot, vegetable oil, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and pepper in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until oil is sizzling and scallions are golden brown, 12–15 minutes; let chili oil cool in saucepan.
Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente; drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Combine tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and 2–3 tablespoons chili oil (depending on desired heat) in a large bowl; season with salt. Add noodles and toss to coat. Top with scallion greens, cilantro and drizzle with more chili oil (and a few drops of the red chili oil, too).

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Filed under pasta dishes, vegetarian

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