Fiery cold sesame noodle is a great main dish in summer.  In China, noodles are served as breakfast or sometimes along with a meal with congee.

cold sesame noodles|

The most famous and popular cold noodle in China is Sichuan style mala noodles. In that version,  only a small amount of sesame paste is added, just for flavoring, no influence on the texture.  I have been thinking about making this cold sesame noodle after testing cold sesame wonton.  This cold noodle is very rich in taste, very mischievous ground Sichuan peppercorn, strong chili oil and aromatic sesame paste along with crispy toasted peanuts and chopped Zha-Cai. It definitely is the best choice for those who does not like chili oil that much.

cold sesame noodles|

How to tune the sesame paste

The store bought sesame paste is thick and dry. But looks quite smooth and you cannot image that it can absorb so much water.

cold sesame noodles|

After mixing in sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. It looks like even drier.

cold sesame noodles|

So the next step is to add water slightly.  I add around 5 tablespoons of water by three batches. Mix well after adding water each time until the sesame paste is slightly running.

cold sesame noodles|

How to prepare the noodles

If you use fresh egg noodles, cook it following the instruction on the package. If you use alkaline noodles, steam the noodle for 3-4 minutes and then blanch the noodle in boiling water for 5 seconds.

Sichuan cold noodles|

Add light soy sauce, chopped scallion and coriander, shredded cucumber, toasted peanuts, chopped Zha Cai (or other pickles) and finely chopped garlic.  Mix in sesame paste.

cold sesame noodles|

The sauce is prepared for 3 people so you can mix it with 3 servings of noodles.

cold sesame noodles|

cold sesame noodles|

Cold Sesame Noodles

Easy and yummy Chinese cold noodles dish with sesame paste. Also known as Sesame cold noodles.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: staple
Cuisine: Sichuan
Keyword: noodles, Sesame
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 987kcal
Author: Elaine


  • 500 g fresh noodles for 3 servings

Sesame sauce

  • 3 tbsp. sesame paste
  • 5 tbsp. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. black vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil

For each serving


  • Tune the sesame paste texture: slightly add light soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and cold water in sesame paste. Stir to combine well. The sesame paste should be running but not thin.

Cook the noodles

  • Set up a steamer with enough water and bring to a boiling.
  • Spread noodles on a steamer and then steam for 4-5 minutes. Then add a small pinch of salt in the water and then transfer the noodles in the water. Heat until the water boils again.
  • Transfer out and add ½ tablespoon of oil immediately (This will help to avoid the noodles being sticky with each other). Stir to mix well. Use chopsticks to stir the noodles up repeatedly to help the noodles cool down quickly. In hot days, you can even resort to an electric fan.

Assemble the noodles by each serving (we can make 3 this time)

  • Mix with all the other serving ingredients. Garnish some chopped scallion, coriander, Zha cai, chili oil, freshly ground Sichuan peppercorn and toasted peanuts.


You can cook the noodles in one batch. But seasonings should be mixed just before serving.


Calories: 987kcal | Carbohydrates: 115g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Sodium: 4592mg | Potassium: 456mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 8.4mg

cold sesame noodles|

cold sesame noodles|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    looks awesome i wanna try it! 🙂

    do you think i can use black sesame paste?
    and how many dry noodles would you think do i have to take?
    i cant get fresh chinese noodles in my small town 🙁

    thank you!

    1. Yes, black sesame paste is good for this recipe too.
      If you cannot find fresh noodles, you can use spaghetti (around 250g). Spaghetti can be a good substitute for this cold sesame noodles.

  2. 5 stars
    Très,très bonne recette…un régal d’autant plus q’elle convient parfaitement à la chaleur qui s’installe ici en France. Encore merci pour ce délicieux plat Elaine !!!


  3. Dear Elaine,

    Thank you for your terrific site! I love Sichuan food.

    For this recipe, could you use western style seasame paste, Tehina?

  4. Hi Elaine,

    I went to the Chinese grocery store today to buy some sesame paste for this dish. But to my confusion they sold two kinds. One is labeled “pure sesame paste” and contains only sesame and the other one is labeled “sesame paste” but also contains peanuts. So which is the right one for this dish?

    1. Andreas,

      Actually both of the two types can work fine for this dish. But pure sesame paste is better if you want a stronger sesame flavor. Sesame peanuts from China usually contains a relatively large amount of peanut and a smaller portion of sesame.

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Elaine,

    the last days have been quite hot (by German standards) and I wanted something cool and filling for dinner, so I remembered this recipe. I liked it very much. The sesame taste combined with the noodles is truly unique.

    And I finally understood your remark about the paste being very thick, when my spoon bent while preparing the sauce 🙂

    Thank you for another great recipe Elaine!

    1. Haha,
      I get that bent spoon too. So I use larger and firmer ones later. Thanks for the feedback and enjoy Andreas. By the way, it is very very hot in my city now and I am making cold dishes meal by meal. I am quite afraid of standing in front of the fire.

      1. I just use a well oiled hardwood mortar and pestle now to prepare the sesame sauce (I think I’ll go look for a granite one). Works much better for me than fork or spoon.