New York City summer heat waves have begun and I made these in an attempt to keep cool while cooking for a large group. I also happened to be craving some good old Chinese zha jiang mien. Super tasty and refreshing on a hot summer day.

Cold Sesame Noodles

  • 1 pound spaghetti, soba or Chinese egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame paste, almond butter, or peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon or more chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded cucumber
  • 1 cup thinly sliced bell pepper 
  • 1/2 lb shredded chicken
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs cilantro, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook the noodles until tender yet firm. Drain the noodles and shock in ice-cold water. Drain again.

In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, sesame paste, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and chili-garlic sauce until smooth. Add the noodles along with the shredded chicken and chopped vegetables, and toss well to distribute the sauce evenly throughout. Garnish with the scallions and cilantro and serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.