By Claire Stern
Apr 04, 2016 @ 6:15 pm
Courtesy Kings County Imperial

Sometimes, nothing hits the spot like good old-fashioned Chinese takeout. Before you reach for the phone, consider recreating those classic flavors at home, without having to actually cook anything. This cold sesame noodle dish—a staple menu item at Kings County Imperial, a Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn that uses locally sourced ingredients—doesn't require high heat, which makes it much easier to prepare than other traditional noodles.

"The secret is a pinch of ground Szechuan peppercorns—they give the noodles a nice subtle kick," says co-chef and owner Josh Grinker. "If you like spice, don't be afraid to add an extra dollop of chili paste on top, too." Read on for the recipe, which yields leftovers that can be stashed in the fridge should any late-night cravings arise. "The flavors only get better the more they meld together," Grinker adds. We're salivating already.

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Cold Sesame Noodles

Serves 4-6


For the Noodles
1 pound fresh lo mein noodles (available at Sun Noodle)

1/2 English cucumber (optional)
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup sesame sauce (recipe below)
2 tbsp sesame oil

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For the Sesame Sauce (Makes 1 quart)
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
tbsp sugar
tbsp sesame oil
tsp Lan Chi Chili Garlic Paste ($5;
1/4 cup garlic, chopped
1 pinch ground Szechuan peppercorn
tbsp toasted sesame seeds
tbsp chopped scallions
tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup tahini

Directions for the Sesame Sauce

1. Take the tahini and the peanut butter out to bring to room temperature so that sauce is easier to mix.

2. Mix first 10 ingredients well in a mixing bowl with a whisk.

3. Add tahini and peanut butter and mix well. 

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Directions for the Noodles

1. Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to a boil.

2. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

3. Cook fresh noodles in boiling water until cooked but still toothsome. Strain noodles and put into ice water to arrest cooking and toss with sesame oil. 

4. Slice cucumber into thin disks. Toss cold noodles with cucumber and sesame sauce and top with sesame seeds.

5. Garnish with a little chili paste for a spicier dish, if desired.