At our blog, Boy Meets Girl Meets Food, we love a good noodle dish. However, we often find that they can become quite heavy and drowned out with sauces, so yesterday we set about making a light and simple noodle dish that is a perfect accompaniment to seafood, stir-fries, and poultry alike! —boymeetsgirlmeetsfood
Test Kitchen Notes
There are some dishes that captivate you even before you're halfway through the cooking process and this simple soba noodle dish certainly qualifies as one. I loved the mellow combination of the softened garlic and the smoky nuttiness of the sesame oil. I used a cold pressed sesame oil for extracting the garlic flavors and then added a bit of dark toasted sesame oil to give it the suggest 'extra kick'. The bird's eye chilies can pack a lot of heat, so go easy on them. The toasted sesame seeds and the cucumber add a lightness to the noodles that is reminiscent of a salad, so feel free to add as much as you want. A couple of clarifications: I used Soba noodles , the other option suggested for the recipe. It had cooked to a soft yet firm consistency in 3 minutes in the boiling water. After a hotline discussion, I used untoasted sesame noodles to saute the garlic. Once the oil heated up enough to emit its signature aroma, make sure to lower the heat so that the garlic does not brown. The flavor is pleasant and mild despite using 5 cloves. A single birds eye chili was adequate to provide a sharp heat to the whole packet of noodles (9.5 oz/269 grams) used for the dish. I thought the black pepper complemented the noodles exceptionally well. —Panfusine
sesame oil, divided
garlic cloves, finely chopped
Thai bird chiles
ramen or soba noodles
large chunk of ginger, finely shredded or chopped
To begin, bring a large pot of water to boil. While the water is warming up, finely slice the cucumber into thin matchsticks.
Next, heat 3 tablespoons of sesame oil in a non-stick pan. Once the sesame oil is toasting (you will get that lovely fragrant sesame smell) add your garlic and chiles. The water should be boiling away, so chuck your noodles in and keep a close eye on them -- ramen can take as little as 4 minutes to cook.
Drain the noodles, then toss them in with the garlic and chile, and add the diced ginger. Mix so that the sesame-garlic oil is evenly spread throughout the noodles, and add a bit more sesame oil if necessary (I found that it was necessary at this point). Season generously with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and hit the noodles with a squeeze of lime. I like serving these noodles slightly chilled/below room temperature, so I put them in the fridge to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.
Just before serving, remove the noodles from the fridge, and top with the cucumber slices as well as the toasted sesame seeds. Done! Super simple, and a really nice addition to any asian-inspired meal.