Sesame Noodles with Asparagus Tips
(recipe, Deborah Madison)
Whenever people ask what they can make a lot of easily and ahead of time for a party, this is what I suggest. It's endlessly versatile; you can vary the vegetable to go with the season, using, for example, snow peas, roasted peppers, grilled eggplant, julienned carrots, mung bean sprouts, and fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms.
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- 3 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
- 7 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp. Chinese black or balsamic vinegar
- 3½ Tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. chili oil
- 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
Noodles and asparagus
- 2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1 14.0 oz. package thin Chinese egg noodles
- 10 scallions, including the firm greens, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted until lightly browned
- Mix the marinade ingredients together, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the asparagus. Cook until bright green and tender but still firm, just a few minutes. Scoop the asparagus out, rinse it under cold water, and set on a towel to dry.
- Pull the noodles apart with your fingers, add them to the boiling water, and give them a quick stir. Boil until tender but not overly soft, tasting them often as they cook. It should take only a few minutes. Pour the noodles into a colander and immediately rinse under cold water. Shake off the excess water.
- Toss the noodles with all the marinade and most of the scallions, sesame seeds, and asparagus. Mound them in a bowl or on a platter, then garnish with the remaining asparagus, scallions, and sesame seeds.