Thai Sesame Noodles

Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables in a Sesame Peanut Sauce
Carl Tremblay / Getty Images
  • 32 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4-6
Ratings (15)

Sesame noodles are one of many dishes brought to Thailand by Chinese immigrants more than a century ago. These noodles are simple to make and very similar to the Chinese version, except I find there is more depth of flavor owing to the addition of fish sauce and shrimp paste. The use of pure sesame oil adds beneficial fatty acids to your diet, so don't be tempted to leave it out or use the artificial substitutes. Standard Chinese, Japanese, or Thai wheat noodles are perfect for this dish and easy to find in any supermarket. Slices of sesame-soy marinated chicken add extra protein, and a final topping of toasted sesame seeds provide texture and that delicious sesame taste. Perfect for those days when you have a noodle craving!

What You'll Need

  • 12 oz./283 to 340 g. noodles (wheat dried)
  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless, cut into strips)
  • 1 bell pepper (red)
  • 5-8 mushrooms
  • 1 piece ginger (thumb-size, grated or finely chopped)
  • 3 cgarlic cloves (minced)
  • 3-4 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. vegetable (oil for stir-frying)
  • For the Marinade:
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar (or another type)
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/4 c. lime juice (fresh-squeezed)
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. shrimp paste
  • 2-3 tsp. sugar, to taste
  • 1 fresh chili (red, minced, or 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili)
  • For the Garnishes:
  • Garnish: 1-2 green onions (sliced)
  • Garnish: 1 handful basil (fresh)
  • Garnish: lime wedges

How to Make It

  1. Place chicken strips in a bowl. Stir together marinade and pour over chicken. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. Boil noodles until al dente. Rinse thoroughly with cold water to keep from sticking. Set aside.
  3. Place sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir until seeds turn light golden brown. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  4. Stir together all 'Sauce' ingredients with a fork or whisk in a small mixing bowl until shrimp paste and sugar dissolve. Set aside.
  1. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp. oil into pan, then add the ginger and garlic. Stir-fry 1 minute, then add the chicken (including marinade). Stir-fry 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  2. Add the red pepper and mushrooms. Stir-fry 2 more minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked.
  3. Add noodles and pour over the sauce you made. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes using a turning/tossing motion (almost like tossing a salad) to combine everything together.
  4. Remove from heat. Sprinkle over 2/3 of the toasted sesame seeds and toss again. Now taste-test for salt and spice. If too salty for your taste, add another Tbsp. of lime juice. If not salty or flavorful enough, add a sprinkling of fish sauce. Add more chili for more heat. (Note: it's okay if they're a little on the salty side, as you will be serving them with more fresh lime).
  5. To serve, plate up the noodles, adding a final sprinkling of sesame seeds to each portion. Top with green onion, fresh basil, and lime wedges (to be squeezed over before eaten). Serve Thai Chili Sauce on the side for those who like it spicy.