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Sesame Noodles


eatingwitheddie
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Cold Sesame Noodles used to have a certain Szechuany cachet.

Somehow they've morphed into the not-very-special & sometimes even given away or we'll-substitute-one for-your-eggroll category.

Who curently makes really good sesame noodles? What makes them special?

Edited by eatingwitheddie (log)
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By far the best sesame cold noodles I've had have been at place in Midtown East called Spade's on 3rd and 37th. Just a more full-flavored sauce (I think I taste Worcestershire?) than the usual.

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You know, I've sort of stumbled into that place (Spade's) a few times, and I'm almost always suprised at how much better it is than I'd expect. It's not a place to get really excited about (like the Wu Liang Ye branch a few blocks away), but it's far far better than just a neighborhood Chinese place.

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Ed, what do you think of the Sichuan Cold Noodles at Grand Sichuan? I think they're damn good.

Haven't tried them but please tell me what they're like.

Do they have a sesame paste-based sauce, or a peanut butter-based sauce?

Is the sauce creamy and emulsified or does it separate into liquid and oily parts?

Are there vegetables in the dish? Beansprouts? Cucumbers? Green soy beans?

Does it have cold shredded chicken?

Chili Oil?

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The sauce is complex. To my palate, it's based on a combination of peanut butter, dark or regular good soy sauce, roasted Sichuan pepper, chili oil or perhaps chili powder, and a bit of sugar. The sauce is fairly smooth and emulsified (perhaps just a bit crunchy) but needs to be mixed in with the noodles. The noodles are topped with plenty of toasted black (?) sesame seeds, slivers of cucumber, and the green parts of scallions. I don't recall bean sprouts. There are plenty of bean sprouts in the Dan Dan Noodles, which include ground pork. There is no meat in the Sichuan Cold Noodles.

I get this dish most often at Grand Sichuan St. Marks.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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This is only marginally relevant, but last night at Jean Georges we found among our amuse-bouche a spoonful of noodle-free "sesame noodles" - made with long strings of cucumber. It made me laugh with pleasure, and, yes, for that moment, it was the best sesame noodles in New York.

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I vote for Tang Tang, 3rd Ave and 76th. Sauce is light and used sparingly. The noodles are thin and al dente, and the raw julienned cucumber is sublime. Nice.

These days most places just drench the noodles with an overwhelming tasteless sauce covering soggy noodles.

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