Spicy Cold Noodles

Last summer when I was just visiting China and no idea I would ever actually live here, I took pictures and made notes of my favorite foods. Some dishes I just had to learn how to make on my own. That’s exactly how I felt about this noodle dish. It’s like a Chinese pasta salad. Cold, refreshing, and spicy all at the same time. It is easily one of my favorite dishes here and Jesse can’t get enough of it either.

Lucky for me I have some pretty great local Chinese friends. Almost exactly a year ago I posted about our friend Mandy teaching us to make dumplings, now she has taught me how to make these cold noodles. My 24×24 party was the first time I made them on my own.  I  have to admit, I was a little nervous making it on my own for a group of Chinese food experts, but this dish was the hit of the party and disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Spicy Cold Noodles 

~12 oz Chinese Noodles*
2 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup cucumbers, cut into thin matchsticks
1/4 cup green onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, very finely diced
2 Tbsp very finely chopped peanuts
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dark rice vinegar (white rice vinegar also works)
2-3 tsp chili oil **
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp white sugar

*Noodles can be found in the Asian aisle of your grocery store, may also be labeled Rice Noodles. Thin, spaghetti like, noodles are best, but thicker noodles, like in the photo, also work. My noodles came in a roll and I used 1/2 of the roll, which I guess to be about 12 oz.
**If you can find Lao Gan Ma brand in the Asian aisle or at an Asian grocery store, use that! Or look for a chili oil that has chilies in the oil. 

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally*.  While the noodles are cooking, prepare a cold water bath. When the noodles are cooked to al dente, drain and immediately place in the cold water bath. Let sit for 2 minutes then drain again and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon of oil to prevent from sticking. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and peanuts and cook for just 30 seconds to 1 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant (you’re not trying to cook the garlic, you’re just trying to take a little of the edge off). Immediately remove from heat and add, along with the cucumber and green onion, to the noodles. Set aside.

In a small liquid measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil, and sugar. If you like a lot of spice, add more chili sauce or a pinch of dry red pepper flakes. Pour over the noodles and toss to combine and evenly coat noodles. Can be served immediately or chilled in the fridge for 30 minutes.

 *These noodles cook much faster than Italian style noodles. Keep an eye on them so they don’t turn to mush!

As taught to me by my friend, Mandy

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. c-zarm house

    Yum! I'll give it a try soon!Please visit us and leave some comment! :)http://mysisterzfantacy.blogspot.hk/

  2. katie

    I love cold noodles, especially with cucumbers. These look great.

  3. Krissy

    I think my husband would love these, definitely trying them soon! Luckily, I have a great International section in my grocery store.

    1. Jessica

      It seems like in the last few years grocery stores have really been kicking up options, as far as international foods. I think it's awesome! If you can find the Lao Gan Ma brand you won't regret it!

  4. Anonymous

    Made this today; my my it was just awesome! We hit 100 degrees in the burbs of Chicago
    Too hot to cook; lucky to have leftover rotisserie chix which we added. It was just spectacular! Thanks for the great recipe!
    A definite make again!

    1. Jessica

      That's great! So glad you liked it. Thanks so much for the feedback!

  5. Krystal Regueiro

    What an interesting mix of flavors, spicy, cold and refreshing. Sounds like a great recipe to try!

  6. Dawn

    These look fabulous! It sounds like a great combination of flavors…

  7. Kelsey

    Yum, yum, YUM! These noodles look like the perfect lunch for these super hot summer days. Thanks to you and Mandy for sharing!

  8. Katie Herley

    I have never tried cold noodles but I am excited to try something different. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Julia DeVos

    These look amazing. I'm moving to Shanghai this fall, should be easy to find the ingredients there 🙂

    1. Jessica

      Shanghai is just a 30 minute train ride from Suzhou! Very close! Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions! I'm no expert, but I've slowly been figuring things out.

  10. Eva

    These look great – do you think they will taste as good the following day?

    1. Jessica

      Yes! A little…soggier maybe, but still very good. I actually made this again for Chinese new year just a few weeks ago and had leftovers for lunch 2 days in a row.

  11. Jolene

    This was delicious! I made it tonight and added fresh jalapeños. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Thank you!!

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