This 10-minute sesame noodles, or ma jiang mian (麻酱面), is a cold noodle dish that you can quickly throw together for an easy and refreshing meal when the weather is hot. It's super creamy, savory, refreshing and garlicky, and just enough sweet and tang to get your appetite going!
This 10-minute Taiwanese sesame noodle is also known as mà jiàng mìan (麻酱面). It's a popular cold noodle dish in China and a common street food in Taiwan. You can literally have it made in front of you in a paper cup and slurp it down while you're walking!
Personally, I like to eat these cold sesame noodles with a side of smashed cucumber salad for some extra freshness. So good!
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
For the sesame sauce:
- Chinese sesame paste - Although middle eastern tahini used to make hummus is kind of similar to Chinese sesame paste, the flavor is different. Chinese sesame paste is made with toasted, unhulled sesame seeds. So the flavor is more toasted and nutty and the color is usually significantly darker than tahini. But if you are in a pinch, you can use tahini instead.
- Chinese black vinegar - To give the sauce a bit more color and a mild tang. If you prefer, you can use some regular rice vinegar instead of Chinese black vinegar.
- Soy sauce - We like to add some light sodium soy sauce to add some a little savoriness to the sesame sauce and a little extra color. If you want your sauce to be a little dark, you can even add a up to 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce.
- Toasted sesame oil - To add some extra toasted, fattiness. You can omit if you prefer.
- Sugar and salt - To help balance out the flavor of the sauce. You could use honey, but the flavor will be a little different.
- Sichuan pepper - Either grind your own Sichuan peppercorn or use the powdered ones. Add as much as you'd like to add some numbing sensation.
- Water - For thinning out the sesame sauce so that it's perfect for coating the noodles.
For the rest of the dish and toppings:
- Fresh cut noodles - We highly recommend using either some thin, fresh cut noodles or hand cut noodles, also known as knife cut noodles. They are wheat noodles with really nice bounce and chew. We have also tried making sesame noodles with udon noodles and linguine. They're pretty good too.
- Chili oil - You can add some Chinese chili oil for extra fragrance or our 5 minute chili oil for some kick. You can also just use your favorite chili crisp.
- Garlic - Although most Chinese people will tell you that minced garlic is a must, you can do with or without. It does make a difference though!
- Cucumber - To give the Taiwanese sesame noodles some texture and freshness.
- Cilantro and green onion
- Sesame seeds and crushed peanuts
How to make Taiwanese sesame noodles
1. Mix together all the ingredients for the sesame sauce until smooth and well combined. Set aside until needed.
🌟 Pro tip: If you've ever tried mixing liquids into sesame paste and peanut butter, you probably know the struggle with the mixture seizing up and not mixing evenly. So we recommend adding the water a little at a time to make it easier to incorporated. It's especially helpful if you are multiplying the recipe and making a larger amount of sauce.
2. Boil the noodles according to package instruction, until just cooked. Then drain and rinse with cold water.
3. Drain the noodles well and dress with the prepared sauce, garlic, chili oil, julienned cucumber, and toppings.
4. Toss everything together and enjoy!
- Use wheat noodles like fresh cut noodles and hand cut/ knife cut noodles for best texture!
- Although garlic is optional, we recommend adding trying it with some minced garlic. It adds a nice zing to the sesame noodles.
- Add liquids to the sesame paste a little at a time for easier, even mixing. This is especially helpful if you are making a larger amount of sauce.
Taiwanese sesame noodles are best enjoyed shortly after making, or the noodles will become bloated and lose their chew. However, you can make the sesame sauce up to 1 week ahead of time, if you keep it refrigerated. Just don't add any garlic to the sauce or it'll cause the sauce to go bad faster. You can also have the cucumbers and toppings prepared ahead of time as well.
In a pinch, yes, you can use tahini instead. However, just know that the flavor will not be the same. If you want the most authentic flavor, we recommend giving Chinese sesame paste a try.
Some Chinese sesame paste can be lighter than others. If you wish to make your sesame sauce a little darker, add up to 1 teaspoon of dark soy to give the sauce more color.
If you can't find Chinese black vinegar, you can substitute with some regular rice vinegar.
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10-Minute Sesame Noodles (Ma Jiang Mian)
- 4 ounces fresh cut noodles more or less to your preference
For the sesame sauce:
Additional toppings and add-on:
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Chili oil
- English cucumber julienned/shredded
- Cilantro chopped
- Green onion thinly sliced
- Crushed peanut
- Mix together all the ingredients for the sesame sauce until smooth and well combined. Set aside until needed.
- Boil the noodles according to package instruction, until just cooked. Then drain and rinse with cold water.
- Drain the noodles well and dress with the prepared sauce, garlic, chili oil, julienned cucumber, and toppings.
- Toss everything together and enjoy!
- Noodles - We highly recommend using Chinese fresh cut noodles or hand cut/knife cut noodles for a bit extra chew. But udon and linguine are pretty good too!
- Chinese sesame paste - If you can't find it, you can technically use tahini. Just note that the flavor will be slightly different.
- *Allergies* If you have soybean or peanut allergy, make sure to read the ingredient label carefully! A lot of brands mix in peanut or soybean.