Ma Jiang Mian (Sesame Noodles) Both Sichuan and Taiwanese Style

Cold sesame noodles are one of the great unhealthy pleasures of Chinese cuisine.  You are covering noodles with oil and sugar.  The fact that the bastardized version of this dish in America is often portrayed as a refreshing and light dish is a bit puzzling as it’s harder to come up with a non-dessert that is less healthy.

Anyways here are two versions, one with chili oil and one without.  I have bifurcated these as Sichuan vs. Taiwanese but it’s not a hard rule.  The other major difference is that the Taiwanese version is more nut forward while the Sichuan style is a soy sauce noodle with a bit of sesame paste.

Sichuan Sauce (mostly taken from here)

4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sweet Soy or 1 Tbsp Dark Soy and 1 Tbsp brown sugar
2-4 Tbsp Chili Oil goop
2 Tbsp Sesame Paste
2 Tbsp Zhenjiang Vinegar
1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2 cloves of garlic, grated
(optional) 1/2 tsp of ground Sichuan peppercorns

Taiwanese Sauce
4 Tbsp mix of Sesame Paste and Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Black or White Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp Sugar or Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2 cloves of garlic, grated

Mix sauce ingredients, adding hot water as needed to reach desired consistency.  Toss with prepared thin wheat noodles and any toppings (cucumbers, carrots, bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro, red sweet pepper, peanuts, etc.)


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