Sesame Noodles With Wilted Greens
The simplicity of this classic Chinese-American dish is deceiving, as the sesame sauce has a rich depth of layers and flavours. Part nutty, with shades of heat, a kick of umami and a punch from something you can’t quite put a pin on... black tea!
- 400 g uncooked noodles (soba is recommended but you can use any noodles of your choice)
For the sesame sauce:
- ⅓ cup light soy sauce
- 2½ tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil (I use Sprig)
- 2 tbsp sesame paste (toast sesame seeds until fragrant and browned, then blitz with a few tablespoons of olive oil until you have a paste)
- 1½ tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 2 tbsp strong black tea
- 1 heaping tbsp Sriracha (you can also use a chilli oil or chilli-garlic paste)
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp fish sauce (I used a vegan fysh sauce from Urban Platter)
- ¾ tbsp finely grated ginger (can increase to 1 tbsp if you don’t mind the extra heat)
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- A good crack of black pepper
For the stir-fry (optional)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 2 medium leeks, cleaned well & finely-sliced in rings
- 6-8 baby corns, washed and diced
Start by whisking together all the ingredients for the sesame sauce, until well combined. Set aside.
Next, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add noodles and cook according to instructions until just shy of al dente (you want the noodles to have a bit of bite). Once drained, shock with cold water, drain again and immediately toss with some more sesame oil (this helps to keep the noodles from sticking together).
While the noodles are cooking, prepare the stir-fry and wilted greens. Heat a tbsp of toasted sesame oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat. Sauté the garlic (1 clove, minced) until fragrant.
Next add the baby corn, and sauté until it has softened, before adding the leeks. Continue stirring. Once leeks have softened as well, add the spinach and stir until the greens have wilted. Remove from heat; be careful not to overcook as you want the spinach to still be bright green with a touch of plumpness.
Toss the noodles, wilted greens and veggies with sesame sauce. Serve immediately.