Spicy Sesame Noodles



My niece is one of those crazy vegetarians.  Not the total nutjob vegan type but your average every day vegetarian.  I, on the other hand am one of those freakshow  meat eaters.  Meat, meat, meat.  I. Eat. Meat.

I thought I ate a lot of it.  I thought I was the meat eater of the century, capable of winning awards and making third world countries disease free with the juice of my antibiotic laced meat sweats.  Turns out … maybe I’m not as good at is as I thought.

For the past 2 years, for whatever reason, I’ve been taking a quick iPhone picture of my dinner and sending it to my niece before I settle down to put my incisors to good use.  She Oooosss and Ahhhhsss over all of the vegetables, noodles and extra stuff while making barfing sounds at the sight of the meat.  It’s our thing.  I make fun of her “lifestyle” as a vegetarian she makes fun of mine as a barbarian.  Then we talk about what’s going on in Homeland this season and whether or not we think her husband will make it a full month without injuring himself in some ridiculous way.

But the other day I scrolled through a few hundred of my dinner photos and realized … I’m not the Majesty of Meat at all.  I probably eat meat 3 out of 7 days a week which barely counts as a meat eater at all.  I’d be laughed right out of caveman training.

Technically the recipe I’m going to show you today could be served with chicken but I kindda like it without. In fact, I way prefer it meatless.

It’s Spicy Sesame Noodles.  And it all comes down to the sauce.

I’ve been trying, searching for, experimenting with developing a spicy peanut type sauce for years now.  I’d pretty much given up on it actually, then a month or so ago I thought I’d give it another shot.

I know there are a bunch of sesame noodle recipes out there that are really easy and pretty good, but I didn’t want pretty good.  I wanted great.

And low and behold it’s not only vegetarian, it’s VEGAN.





The important thing to this recipe, the only thing really, is the sauce.  It’s a spicy sesame/peanut sauce that will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.  Probably longer actually but it’s never lasted that long around these parts because it’s so versatile.  This sauce is GREAT on noodles, chicken, fried tofu, spring rolls, and it’s especially good stirred into one of my favourite side dishes,  sautéed kale with shredded carrots.

There are other sesame noodle sauce recipes with less ingredients, but that’s why they taste a bit flat.  This one has more depth of flavour making it taste more complex.  In other words better.





The other great thing about this recipe is it’s completely customizable.  I’ve developed it for my tastes and so it has a balance of sweet, salty, acidic and heat. But if you don’t like heat, then just don’t add the chili pepper flakes.  If you LOVE heat, then add more.

Ditto for the sugar, ginger, or anything else.


0 from 0 votes
Spicy Sesame Noodles
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
2 mins
Total Time
12 mins
Course: Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 4 large servings
Author: The Art of Doing Stuff
  • 3 Tablespoons sesame seeds toasted
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp your favourite hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup of hot water approximately
  • 1 lb Chinese Noodles like Instant noodles for instance
  • 4 green onions sliced thin
  • 1 carrot grated or sliced in matchsticks
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced very thin
  1. To toast your sesame seeds just put them in a dry pan over medium low heat and toast until golden.
  2. Reserve 1 Tablespoon of the sesame seeds for garnish.
  3. Add the sesame seeds, soy sauce, peanut butter, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, hot sauce, and pepper flakes to a blender or food processor. Blend until combined well.
  4. Add the water a tiny bit at a time until the sauce becomes runny like cream. Stop adding water once you're at the right consistency. You might not use all the water.
  5. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Instant noodles only take 1 minute to cook.
  6. Strain noodles and add the green onions, carrots and red peppers. Toss with the sauce then garnish with reserved sesame seeds.
Recipe Notes
For the vegan version choose noodles made without eggs.


Keep any leftover sauce in the fridge. It’s great for chicken satays.

Unless of course you’re a vegetarian. Or vegan.  If that’s the case then insert barfing sounds here.

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  1. Paula says:

    Looks really good! What is that kitchen utensil?

  2. Alison says:

    Paula, it’s a spider! It’s great for deep frying, but it works like a charm to scoop things out of boiling water! (Karen, hope I didn’t steal your thunder; I just love my own spider so much, I couldn’t help myself!)

  3. Pam says:

    Spicy peanut sauce is one of my favorite things and though I’m not much of a cook I may try this one out. Thanks for posting a vegetarian (non-barf) recipe!

  4. ruth says:

    Okay I’m trying this. I still haven’t found the recipe I like but I trust your tastebuds.

  5. Luanne says:

    Mmm, looks yummy! I may try that with glass noodles. But… I don’t make noodles a lot – does that really say 1 lb of noodles? That sounds like a lot.

  6. Karen says:

    That’s for 4 servings, lol. ~ karen!

  7. Karen says:

    Thunder stealer. ~ karen!

  8. Lynne says:

    This sounds like the flavour profile I have been looking for and have never quite been able to achieve. If I wasn’t already in bed all cozy and warm I would be making them right now, I am so looking forward to tomorrow! This works as breakfast food right? 🙂

  9. calliek says:

    I like a little bit of sesame oil in my peanut sauce. Also, I use chili garlic paste – saves having to add the hot sauce and garlic separately.

  10. Amber says:

    4 servings, my patootie! This is two servings on a good day!
    Think you can small size your readers, do you?

  11. Amber says:

    Do you think tahini or cashew butter would be a better substitute for those of us with nut allergies?

  12. Grammy says:

    I’ve been looking for a good peanut sauce. This is it.

  13. trish says:

    found this post deeply disturbing –whaddya mean KALE and shredded carrot is your fave side dish!? As part of my trawl thru your archives to catch up wth all your other lucky followers who’ve known about you for years, found homework to try a new vegetable. So jumping in the deep end i grabbed the weirdest looking most unlikely vege from the supermarket to try. It was curly kale == it is weird, it looks weird it tastes weird and most disturbingly it feels weird — and this is a favourite vegie . . . ? maybe canadian kale is different from kiwi kale

  14. Louise says:

    Mmmmm . . . sounds yummy! And heck, if this only takes 10 minutes I’m in!

    Your easy broccoli soup recipe is absolutely wonderful, so I will follow your recipes slavishly from now on! 😉

  15. Glynis says:

    This looks – and sounds so delicious. And I have all the ingredients too for both the sauce and the noodle/veg combo. Guess what I’ll be making…

  16. Maura says:

    Looks fresh and delicious! I will try it tonight. Love that little jar you used to stored the peanut sauce. Was that bought online?

  17. Jane P says:

    Yummy, I agree with Maura that this dish looks fresh & delicious. I have a simple sauce for Thai pizza that is also tasty with a little heat. Love hearing about your relationship with your niece. What is her favorite vegetarian dish?

  18. magali says:

    very excited to try this!

  19. Amanda Rudack says:

    I, also, need to know about that little glass container. In a right-now-where-do-I-buy-it sort of way.

  20. Heather says:

    Sounds yum. I have a favourite peanut dipping sauce that I learned years ago at a cooking class that I love. So good with shrimp chips! Unfortunately right this minute I am on Weight Watchers – so this recipe will have to wait for awhile. My daughter has recently discovered PB2 and using it for recipes to cut down on the fat content. http://www.bellplantation.com/products/pb2-powdered-peanut-butter.html. If I try it I will let you know how it works out.

    I love those Weck jars but have never bought any. Do they seal as well as a Mason jar? They sure are pretty!

  21. Heather says:

    Thai pizza? Do tell!

  22. Karol says:

    On a side note… your photography skills are excellent!

  23. brenda says:

    yummmmmm throw in some shrimp and I’m all over this

  24. Connie S. says:

    Looking forward to trying this with my daughter who’s been vegetarian for almost 2 decades. I esp. enjoy Thai -asian style foods so this quick dinner would satisfy ALL of us, especially if i make the chicken satay for her meat eating brother and Dad 😉
    Going to make the sauce right now !
    thx Karen

  25. Mary Werner says:

    Once the sauce is in the fridge, this supper would take less time than getting up to refill my iced tea. I LOVE sesame seeds! I love sautéed kale but never tried it with shredded carrots. Think that will be my next BIG effort at cooking. Thanks for some more good food recipes.

  26. SuzyMcQ says:

    Looks delish! I too, add sesame oil and some cucumbers as well. If I have some fetuccini or linguine I use that rather than going to the overwhelming noodle aisle at the Asian grocery.

  27. Ev Wilcox says:

    Me too!

  28. Karen says:

    Yup. You could throw in sesame oil too. (I like toasted.) I use chili flakes because they’re dried chilis that I grew this summer and dried out and they have a LOT of heat in them. ~ karen!

  29. Karen says:

    Well I was just assuming you’d eat the serving with a whole pig of course. ~ karen!

  30. Karen says:

    Cashew butter would work great. It’s the nut taste that you have to replace. (as opposed to adding more sesame taste) ~ karen!

  31. Karen says:

    There is a big difference in different types of kale! Black Kale (dinosaur kale, lacinato kale) is less bitter than regular kale and less tough. It’s the only kale I grow or eat. And you have to cut it into thin strips otherwise it stays tough. Add in the shredded carrots AND the peanut sauce (kind of the scene stealer really) and you’ll like kale. Probably. Maybe. ~ karen!

  32. Karen says:

    Come back and let me know how you like it Glynis and if you changed it for your tastes! ~ karen

  33. Karen says:

    I bought it at my local kitchen store, but you can buy them online. It’s a Wecks jar. Even though they’re made for canning I don’t recommend them for canning, they’re VERY finicky. But they’re great for the sort of thing I use them for (like holding sauces). ~ karen!

  34. Karen says:

    Cookies. ~ karen!

  35. Karen says:

    LOL, Hi Amanda. It’s a Weck jar. They’re for canning but I’ve never had good luck with them for that. They’re great for holding stuff though and look cool. You can get them on Amazon. ~ karen!

  36. Karen says:

    No they don’t Heather! The manufacturer will tell you that they will but I’ve used them several times and every time at least 1/3rd of them lose their seal. ~ karen!

  37. Karen says:

    Thanks for saying that Karol! Going down to 3 posts a week has given me a bit more time to set things up and really figure lighting out. Stuff I didn’t have time for before because I had to rush through everything. I think it’s made a big difference in my shots. ~ karen!

  38. Karen says:

    Come back and let me know how you like it Connie S. Or if you made any changes to it. ~ karen!

  39. Karen says:

    Try to brave the noodle aisle, lol. Your regular grocery store should have “Instant Noodles”. They’re the fastest and easiest way to go. One minute! ~ karen

  40. Teri says:

    I take exception to calling people who don’t eat meat, dairy or eggs “nut jobs”. There is nothing wrong with eating a whole food plant based diet and actually the word Vegan means more …it is a whole different lifestyle. Vegans ( Peta people) are the ones that throw stuff on people that wear animal products etc. Not all people who don’t eat meat, dairy and eggs refer to themselves as VEGAN. I don’t eat that stuff but call myself a Whole foods plant based or starchivore.
    Now to the recipes….sounds great and it is great…you can even sub in the PB2 to cut back on the fat calories in the recipe. So “barf barf” to your meat….

  41. Heather says:

    Good to know. Thanks, Karen.

  42. Karen says:

    I’m guessing you might be new here. The nut job reference was hyperbole. Although frankly I do think vegetarians are nut jobs. Which is fine. I eat meat. They think I’m a nut job. No big whoop. As far as the word Vegan goes, it actually means exactly what I said it does. People who don’t eat animal products. Here’s the definition in Webster’s Dictionary. The term vegan was first used in 1944 to describe someone who doesn’t eat anything related to animals. Peta on the other hand didn’t even form until 1980. So there you go. Barf away. 😉 ~ karen!

  43. Cred says:

    I love Thai peanut sauce but since it’s not my husband’s favourite, I’ve never tried researching recipes and making my own. Because I trust your recipes and since you suggest it will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, I am making this today. If it tastes like you describe, I dont expect that it will last long even if I’m the only one eating it…. out of the jar with a spoon.
    Does the type of peanut butter matter- regular Kraft okay or would you suggest an all natural peanut butter?

  44. Yeah. I’ll be trying that. Photograph is dynamite! Thanks for the skinny on the Weck jars. They just didn’t look like they would seal properly. I love all of their shapes, however.

  45. I used to be a freakshow meat eater, and then I switched to nutjob vegan overnight, and I haven’t looked back! I had no idea that I would not only feel way better, but that my palette would change and now I WAY prefer my vegan diet.

    P.S. that dish you just made is vegan! 😉

  46. Karen says:

    I know, ya nut job, lol. I said that at the beginning of the recipe. ~ karen!

  47. amanda g says:

    Ok, this post confirms that you are my psychic twin. Or that noodles are my psychic twin….it confirms something. A spicy peanut sauce I can stash and eat at a moment’s notice? Thank you Goddess Of Sesame Noodles. My vegetarian self, my nutjob vegan daughter, and my 19 yr old newly vegetarian son, (formerly known as ‘the Baconator’) thank you most sincerely!

  48. Karen says:

    Excellent! ~ Freakshow

  49. Carole McGinnis says:

    Yum – I love it when you post recipes. They are ALWAYS awesome!

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