Vegan Take on a Classic Shanghainese Restaurant Dish with THE CREAMIEST Sesame Sauce! A great to make a gourmet meal with leftovers! Only 15 minutes!
March 2017 Recipe Redux Challenge:
Spring Clean the Kitchen
Cook with at least 3 ingredients that are actually in your refrigerator or pantry right now. Try not to go to the store to buy anything new. Give tips on how to make a healthy dish out of whatever you have on-hand.
The heavy steps of our waitress and the clanking of the ornate Chinese porcelain bowls and cups could be heard as she set our table for us. I looked up to admire the beautiful scrolls of Chinese calligraphy hung on the walls, filled with elegant black strokes of old, sophisticated Chinese poetry. My dad picked up the menu set right at the center of our “revolving countertop” and began his usual task of ordering food for the family. His solemn face was a sign that he was thinking hard – which was not unusual since food was serious business in this family. After a few more minutes of contemplation and input from my mum, he set his pen down and waved down a waitress to take our order. I guess all we had to do was wait.
This was one of my favorite restaurants not just because of the food but because of the large windows by the kitchen where all could enjoy watching the chefs artfully make the dishes that would be served to us.
I stepped up on my tippy toes and glanced through the large transparent window right outside the kitchen. I watched in fascination as the white cladded chefs speedily rolled our small balls of dough into thin wrappers, stuffing them with marinated minced meat before piling them in gigantic bamboo steamers. From another angle, I observed another chef as he pulled out long, thin strands of wheat noodles between his fingers to about 1/2 meter long. It was like watching the Chinese form of Italian pasta making. I was just blown away at the expertise I had witnessed. The art of Chinese Noodles and dumplings were definitely a magnificent performance in it of itself. A skill that was much appreciated by my grumbling stomach.
The entire meal was incredibly flavorful, after all it was one of the best Shanghainese restaurants in town. My absolute favorite, however, had to be the beautiful bowl of Shanghainese Chinese Sesame Noodles: paper thin, mung bean noodles, cucumbers, carrots, shredded chicken covered with a thick, sesame dressing. This was one of our family’s must-order dish every time we came here.
I twirled the flat wide noodles in my sauce and carefully lowered in into my mouth. The slippery noodles generously covered with the heavenly nutty sauce was ever so silky smooth. The contrast of light and rich; fresh and nutty was absolutely fascinating – a wonderful play of textures and flavors in my mouth. But of course, the most amazing part of this dish was the luscious sesame dressing that seemed to have captured everyone’s hearts.
I long for that delicious appetizer that I would enjoy with my family back home in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter here and there doesn’t quite do the trick. During our family vacations, my dad would cook up Chinese egg noodles and scoop a few spoonfuls of Natural Almond butter for a quick meal. It was rich, nutty and satisfying – a clever play off of the Shanghainese sesame noodles. Zoe and I thought it was the best thing in the world next my dad’s infamous Cantonese tomato and egg scramble. While most parents might be fending off their kid’s hungry stomach with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; mine opted for a bowl of nut butter and noodles.
Taking inspiration from my dad’s simple creation and the traditional Shanghainese sesame noodles, we decided to make recreate our version of Creamy Sesame Chinese Noodles with Tahini and some leftover cool crunchy vegetables. Restaurants usually will serve this dish with shredded chicken, but we chose to keep this vegan and well…simple? What’s truly amazing about this meal is that it is super fast – and I mean it! Just grab any leftover vegetables you have in your fridge – the more variety the better! Chop them all up, stick them in the pan with some of that deliciously creamy, ultra-addictive sauce. Stir that in with any kind of leftover pasta/ramen noodles/buckwheat noodles you have lying around – and you’re set!
That heavenly tahini dressing tinted with the scent of freshly roasted sesame seeds – really only consists of 6 ingredients – one including water from your tap. It is dead easy and guaranteed crowd pleaser. When we both stuck our fingers into taste the sauce, we were blown away. It tastes especially refreshing with the addition of lemon! So for kids who won’t eat your veggies, this is the perfect rainbow feast – almost like a “Chinese Alfredo pasta” – that they will love! So here it is: Our take on a Classic Chinese Sesame Noodles in 15 minutes.
(We also reduced as much of the sesame oil as we could to keep this dish healthier).
Adapted from Daydaycook
Ingredients – serves 2
- 150g Gluten Free Spaghetti/Angel Hair Pasta (5 – 5.5 oz)
- 1 small carrot
- 1/2 zucchini
- 3 tbsp Tahini
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Water
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 3/4 – 1 tsp sesame oil
How to Make:
- Mix together ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
- Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and submerge in cold water.
- Finely chop the zucchini and carrots into thin matchsticks.
- Heat up a non-stick skillet, add your carrots and zucchini. Pour in half the sauce and mix well.
- Drain your pasta into a big mixing bowl and pour over the vegetable mixture. Add the rest of your sauce to taste.
- Serve immediately.
Zoe & Mia
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