In my most recent monthly roundup, looking at my favourite food posts of the last month, I highlighted Helen Graves’s cold sesame noodles as one I definitely wanted to try. It struck me as a perfect lunch, so I made it the night before for the next day’s al desko treat (see, there’s a mouse and keyboard in the picture and everything).
I made a few tweaks based on my store cupboard. I gave the veg a light pickling to provide a tangy edge, as I was fresh out of pickled mango (not an ingredient I am familiar with). I ended up with a salty, sweet, savoury, crunchy yummy pot of noodles. I transport mine in a snazzy Sistema lunchbox where the dressing, noodles and veg can be separated from each other until the perfect moment. Much more interesting than a flabby cheese sandwich.
Cold sesame noodles (serves 2):
1 large carrot
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
2 roasted onions, roughly chopped
2 dried noodle nests
1 teaspoon ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 large heaped tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon spiced rice vinegar
Pinch of chilli flakes
A shake of sesame seeds
- Halve the cucumber lengthways and use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut at an angle to get little 1cm-wide bridge shapes. Grate the carrot into the cucumber, splash over the vinegar and add a pinch each of sugar and salt. Toss gently and allow to macerate while you get on with everything else.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain and rinse the noodles thoroughly with cold water.
- While the noodles cook, combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Add water if necessary to make a runny dressing. When you’re ready to eat combine the lot and wolf down! (Warning: wear a napkin tucked into your collar).