It hot hot hot over here. I just want to keep away from cooking as much as I can.
Cold noodles is something which is quite appetising in this warm weather. Cold noodles with sesame dressing 'ma jiang ren mian' 麻醬冷麵 is common in northern part of China as a snack for the warm summer. This cold dressed noodles can be plain (vegetarian) with a bit of vegetables like bean sprouts and/or cucumber. For meat eaters add some precooked/cold shredded meat (any type), boiled, steamed or roasted. I have a cold roasted chicken and some chicken jelly from the chicken juice collected during roasting, so ideal to make up some cold noodles. The sesame paste dressing is a classic Sichuanese/ Beijingnese style.
The good thing with cold noodles is it can be made in advance eaten at room temperature or eaten cold after cooling in the fridge. Minimum cooking is required.
Here is the rough idea how to make this noodles:
Noodles: Any kind of dried noodles or homemade rustic noodles. Cooked then cooled with room temperature/ice cold water. Mix with a little plain cooking oil or sesame oil if you are not going to eat right away, so the noodles will not stick together.
Vegetables: Shredded cucumber and/or lightly blanched bean sprouts. Blanch the bean sprouts with boiling water for about 10 - 15 seconds then rinse with cold water. You can also add shredded carrot, lettuce, tomato slices, or even pineapple pieces if you wish
Meat: Any kind of cold meat. Preferably shredded or sliced
Garnish: Chopped spring onion, chopped coriander (cilantro) and roasted sesame seeds.
The dressing: Recipe enough for 2 people
2 - 3 tbsp of thick sesame paste, preferably Chinese like this one bought or homemade, if not can sub with tahini or less authentically with peanut butter
2 tbsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar or other rice vinegar
1 - 4 tsp chilli oil, or much as you like preferably with some of the chilli sediment in the bottle which has more flavour. Can use any type of chilli oil, incl. this Sichuan style or HK style
2 - 3 tbsp soy sauce or to your taste, or depends on if the stock is salty
a little stock bullion powder (optional if stock/stock jelly is not available mix with some water or if the stock you have is not flavourful enough)
pinch of ground sichuan pepper
2 - 3 tbsp of fairly concentrated stock (vegetarian) or meat juice/jelly/stock (like chicken or others) or some of this Knorr real stock in a tiny tub. For this recipe I used the chicken stock jelly collected when roasting the chicken. How I make this jelly is put about 1.5 cup of water in the roasting tin, put the chicken on top on a rack. Let the chicken juice drip on the the water. When the chicken is done, the water is reduced and leaving a concentrated chicken stock. Put the juice into container, chill and remove the fat on top.
a little toasted sesame oil or oil floating on the jar of sesame paste.
* If you like garlicy flavour you can add some grated/finely chopped garlic, I find garlic overpowered the flavour of nutty sesame.
To make up the dressing:
- Warm the thick sesame paste in the microwave for few seconds till softened or stirred briskly till mixable.
- Warm the stock if it is in jelly form to dissolve.
- Then mix all the ingredients together, taste and add more of any if required to your own taste.
To assemble the noodles:
- Put the noodles onto individual deep dish or pasta bowl.
- Pile on chosen vegetables and meat.
- Sprinkle with garnishes.
- Drizzle on the dressing.
Mix everything together and get something like this: