★ Why You’ll Love this Recipe ★
These simple sesame noodles with carrots are a great little side dish or as I like to call them, lunch.
This pasta salad is simple yet delicious and is great for potlucks or for munching on throughout the week. Stores well in the fridge for up to about 4-5 days.
Lunch On Demand
Imagine this—it’s a hot summer’s weekend day and you’re hungry for a late lunch because it’s been a busy morning. You don’t feel like cooking anything or even making a sandwich.
So you open the fridge and find a ready-made, chilled, Sesame Noodle and Carrot Salad. You pull out the big container, fill up a bowl and then pat yourself on the back for planning ahead. You’re also glad you made plenty because this noodle salad is good enough to eat for days.
Great for Meal Planning
Want to spend less on eating out for lunch? A little planning goes a long way.
This sesame noodle salad can be made ahead for a grab-and-go lunch.
If you struggle with meal planning or just getting your grocery situation organized, check out my one-page meal planner. I promise it’ll change your life!
★ What do these sesame noodles taste like? ★
This cold sesame noodle salad is light, flavorful and refreshingly filling. You can use fresh shredded or spiraled carrots depending on what texture you prefer and Asian noodles or spaghetti noodles.
The dressing is flavored with garlic, ginger and rice wine vinegar. You get a lightly toasted sesame seed flavor from actual sesame seeds as well as the sesame seed oil. Soy sauce and bullion add that salty umami element and the green onion bring a spicy freshness.
This dish doesn’t look like a fancy one, but it’s full of simple Asian flavor.
It’s been a favorite of mine since way back. In fact, I first discovered this chilled noodle salad at the Giant Foods grocery store deli when I lived in Maryland. I’ve been working to match their recipe for a long while and I finally cracked the code. This is pretty spot on!
I did lighten the amount of oil in the sauce just a smidge to make it healthier but other than that, all the same flavors I grew up on are there. It makes me so happy! Does anyone else get nostalgic about foods that bring them back to a certain time in their life? I just love the feelings that come with food.
★ Ingredients You Need ★
- Carrots. You can use matchstick carrots, fresh shredded carrots or spiralized carrots which are more like noodles. Since spiralizing veggies into noodles has become pretty popular, you can now buy frozen spiralized carrots but for more crunch and freshness, you can spiralize your own with a spiralizer.
If you’ve never spiralized vegetables before, you may want to check out a video on how to do it. Especially with a carrot since they’re pretty skinny. Here’s a short YouTube video I found that shows you how it’s done: How to Spiralize a Carrots.
Another option would be to peel and shred fresh carrots instead of spiralizing them.
For best results, use freshly cut carrots. They’ll have the most flavor and won’t be as dry. Fresh is always going to taste better. You get more of those carrot juices and flavor and the texture is more moist. But if you don’t have time for that, go easy on yourself and choose what works best for you.
- Noodles. You can really use any kind of noodle you like. I like to use spaghetti noodles or any type of Asian noodle. Rice noodles are a great gluten-free option. Totally up to your own preference. I’ve made this with rice noodles, Lo Mein egg noodles and with spaghetti noodles. All are good options.
- Ginger and garlic. You can use powdered ginger and powdered garlic but you get a more flavor and texture out of a paste if you’re able to get your hands on some. You can of course also use freshly ground ginger and freshly pressed garlic. You may want to roast your garlic first however, so it doesn’t have too much bite.
My favorite choice to use is the ready-made pastes available in the fresh food section of the store, usually near the fresh herbs. They’re easy and tasty!
- Soy sauce. A classic Asian staple. You can choose regular or low sodium. I actually prefer the taste of the low sodium. It doesn’t overpower the dish.
- Sesame seed oil. I like the toasted sesame seed oil if you can find it. It adds a slightly nutty flavor which is really delicious.
- Green onions. For best results, chop these up finely.
- Rice vinegar. Another classic Asian flavor. Make sure you don’t use white or any other flavor of vinegar or this dish will not taste right. Must be rice vinegar.
- Toasted sesame seeds. You can buy sesame seeds already toasted which makes life easier. Or spread them out on the baking sheet and bake them for about 1 minute until they are golden brown. Keep an eye on them as they go from toasted to burnt very quickly! They will have a nice aroma and color when they are ready.
- Vegetable bullion. This adds another layer of flavor in the same way gravy or adding aromacis (onion, celery, carrots, etc.) adds flavor, yet keeps this dish vegetarian.
- Black pepper. This is finishes off the dish but adding a little bite. Fresh ground is best.
★ How to Make this Sesame Noodle Salad ★
This noodle salad is very simple to prep.
It all comes together in 4 quick and easy steps:
- Cook noodles according to package then drain.
- Spiralize or shred fresh carrot.
- Stir to combine: cooked noodles, carrots, ginger paste, garlic paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, vegetable bullion, toasted sesame seeds and black pepper.
- Top with green onions and serve.
★ More Recipes You’ll Love ★
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Sesame Noodles with Carrots
- 7 oz Asian noodles or spaghetti about half a package
- 1 cup shredded or spiralized carrots about 1 large carrot
- 4 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2-3 tbsp sesame oil to taste
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ tsp vegetable bullion powder/paste
- 2 tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 green onions chopped
- Cook noodles according to package then drain.
- Spiralize carrots or you can peel and shred a fresh carrot.
- Add noodles and carrots to a large bowl or pot. Add ginger paste, garlic paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice viniegar, vegetable bullion, toasted sesame seeds and black pepper. Toss.
- Top with green onions and serve this sesame noodle salad cold.