Taiwanese cold sesame noodles are a delightful and refreshing dish perfect for a quick and easy meal. With a creamy sesame sauce, chewy noodles, and a touch of spice, this dish is packed with flavor and texture. It’s perfect for hot days when you crave something light yet satisfying.

If you love this recipe, you’ll also enjoy Taiwanese cold peanut noodles. Similar in preparation, these noodles offer a different flavor profile with a rich peanut sauce. Together, these dishes provide a variety of delicious options for your meal planning.

Feature image shows a bowl of cold noodles covered in Taiwanese sesame sauce served in a blue white color bowl with sesame seeds on top.

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make these yummy cold noodles and sesame sauce. Each ingredient adds a special flavor or texture to make this dish delicious.

  • Rice or thin wheat noodles: Provides a chewy texture and serves as the base for the dish.
  • Toasted sesame seeds: Adds a nutty flavor and a slight crunch for garnish.
  • Scallion
  • Garlic chili sauce (optional): Adds a spicy kick and enhances the overall flavor.

Cold Sesame Noodle Sauce

Image shows ingredients used for Taiwanese sesame sauce for cold noodles.
  • Chinese sesame paste or tahini: Creates a rich, creamy base with a deep sesame flavor.
  • Taiwanese soy sauce paste or (vegetarian) oyster sauce: Adds umami depth and a slightly sweet taste.
  • Peanut butter: Provides a smooth, nutty flavor and creamy texture.
  • Toasted sesame oil: Enhances the sesame flavor and adds a toasty aroma.
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Coconut brown sugar (optional): Adds a hint of sweetness to balance the savory elements.
  • Water: Thins the sauce to the perfect creamy consistency.

Taiwanese thick soy sauce: Also known as Taiwanese soy paste, it’s like oyster sauce but without any seafood. Made with soy sauce, glutinous rice flour, sugar, and salt, it has a savory and sweet flavor. Stay tuned for my homemade version to come and this store-bought version is my favorite and it’s gluten-free.

Image shows Taiwanese thick soy sauce paste store-bought.
Taiwanese thick soy sauce paste

What noodles to use

Variations

How to make cold sesame noodles Taiwanese style

Cooking cold noodles with sesame sauce is quick and easy, perfect for a refreshing meal. Here’s how to prepare this flavorful dish step by step:

Person demos how to make cold noodles.
  1. Boil the Noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles as instructed. Rinse in cold water, drain, then toss with a bit of oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Prepare the Sesame Sauce: Grind toasted sesame seeds. Mix with Chinese sesame paste (or tahini), soy sauce paste (or vegetarian oyster sauce), peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, sea salt, coconut brown sugar (optional), and water. Stir until creamy and smooth.
  3. Assemble the Dish: Divide the noodles into two bowls, drizzle with sesame sauce, and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions. Add garlic chili sauce for a spicy kick if desired.

Chinese sesame paste vs. Tahini

Chinese sesame paste is made from darkly roasted sesame seeds, giving it a darker color and a nuttier, less bitter flavor. Tahini, also a sesame paste, can be made from either roasted or raw sesame seeds. It has a lighter color with an earthy and slightly bitter taste.

Chinese sesame paste substitute

You can find Chinese sesame paste at local Chinese grocery stores or online. If you need a substitute, use tahini mixed with peanut butter and a touch of toasted sesame oil, as written in the recipe, to achieve a similar flavor profile.

Make ahead and noodle storage

Make-Ahead: You can prepare the sesame sauce up to a week in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Thin it with a little water or toasted sesame oil before using. If needed, you can also boil the noodles 1-2 days ahead and store the noodles and sauce separately.

Noodles: After refrigeration, boiled noodles may harden and stick together. To soften and untangle them, rinse the noodles in warm water and shake off any excess moisture before combining the cold noodles with sesame sauce.


What to serve with sesame cold noodles

Pairing your cold Asian noodles with the right sides and proteins can turn a simple meal into a delightful feast. Here are some perfect accompaniments:

Vegetable Sides:

  • Add a crunchy and tangy touch with Vegan kimchi.
  • Enjoy the refreshing flavor of Asian pickled cucumbers.
  • Try Cucumber roll ups (with ham and avocado) for a light and tasty side.

Vegetarian Proteins:

Taiwanese Favorites:

Helpful tips

  • Rinse the boiled noodles in cold water to remove excess starch and maintain the QQ (chewy) texture.
  • Shake the noodles dry to remove excess water before placing them into a bowl to prevent them from becoming soggy.
  • Mix the noodles with a little oil after boiling to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Adjust the sauce consistency by gradually adding water until it’s creamy and smooth, not too thick or too runny.
  • Rinse refrigerated noodles in warm water to soften them and shake off any excess moisture before adding the sauce.

FAQs

What if I don’t have Chinese sesame paste?

You can use tahini mixed with peanut butter and a touch of toasted sesame oil to achieve a similar flavor profile.

Can I make this dish gluten-free?

Absolutely! See our Chinese pantry staples for gluten-free Chinese seasonings.

Can I serve this dish warm?

While it’s traditionally served cold, you can serve it warm by not rinsing the noodles in cold water and thinning the sesame sauce with warm water

More Asian noodles recipes you might like

Looking for more delicious noodle dishes? Here are some flavorful options that are sure to satisfy your cravings and keep you exploring more tasty recipes on our blog.

A close shot shows cold noodles drizzled with sesame sauce and chili oil, served in a bowl.
A recipe image shows Taiwanese cold sesame noodles served in a blue white color bowl.
5 from 1 vote

Taiwanese cold sesame noodles recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: ChihYu Smith
Discover the creamy flavors of Taiwanese cold sesame noodles. This easy and delicious cold noodle recipe is perfect for a quick summer meal.
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Video

Ingredients 

  • 100 gram rice noodles, 2 bundles
  • 1 tbsp Toasted sesame seeds, (hand-grinded before garnish and serving)
  • 2 bulb scallion, thin sliced on diagonal
  • 2 tsp garlic chili sauce, optional

Cold sesame noodle sauce:

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Sauce preparations:

  • In the meantime, grind the toasted sesame seeds to release the aroma.
  • Transfer the sesame seeds to a mixing cup and combine with ingredients from sesame paste to water. The consistency should be creamy and smooth that’s not too thick or too runny.

Boil noodles:

  • To boil the noodles, follow the package instructions and rinse them in cold water and shake away excess water. Place them on a large serving plate and toss with a few teaspoons of oil to prevent them from sticking.

Serving:

  • Divide the noodles into two serving bowls. Drizzle the sesame sauce over. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallion. Serve at room temperature.

Notes

  • Make-ahead: The sauce can be made a week ahead, stored in the fridge. Thin with a little water or toasted sesame oil before using.
  • Noodles: If you have to boil the noodles ahead, the noodles should last 1-2 days in the fridge. To warm up the noodles and loosen the strains, rinse them in warm water and shake away excess moisture before combining with the cold sesame noodle sauce.
  • Taiwanese thick soy sauce: Also known as Taiwanese soy paste, it’s like oyster sauce but without any seafood. Made with soy sauce, glutinous rice flour, sugar, and salt, it has a savory and sweet flavor. Stay tuned for my homemade version and this store-bought version is my favorite and it’s gluten-free.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 243kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 588mg, Potassium: 138mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 20IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Taiwanese
Keyword: Cold sesame noodles, Taiwanese cold sesame noodles
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