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Black Sesame Noodle Bowl

Black Sesame Noodle Bowl Recipe - For this noodle bowl, I took inspiration from Heidi Swanson’s Black Sesame Otsu in Super Natural Every Day, in which a blanket of black sesame seeds is toasted until it smells heady, then pounded with a mortar and pestle and combined with some Asian pantry staples to make a thick, savory, and tangy dressing, here given a bit more punch with wasabi. Like other cold noodle dishes, this is a good dish for packing up, and in my experience has been wonderful on the beach. The shredded egg and wisps of radish incorporate into the noodles, the shallot brings crunch and zing, and the final drizzle of kecap manis—the Indonesian soy sauce—brings the whole bowl together in the most satisfying way.

SERVES 4
Black Sesame Noodle Bowl Recipe

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil
  • 5 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon wasabi powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 bundles (about 11.5 ounces) dried soba, udon, or somen noodles
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 large boiled eggs, firm yolks (page 224)
  • 8 small-to-medium radishes
  • 4 cups tender greens, such as watercress, upland cress, baby arugula, or tatsoi
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • Kecap manis (Indonesian soy sauce), for drizzling

How to make Black Sesame Noodle Bowl

  1. Place the sesame seeds in a dry skillet and set over medium-low heat. Toast, swirling the pan frequently, until fragrant—90 seconds to 2 minutes. Watch and smell carefully so that they don’t burn. Transfer to a mortar and coarsely grind, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, wasabi, and salt, and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  2. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a gentle boil. Add the noodles and cook until tender, usually 4 to 7 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse thoroughly under cold running water, then drain again thoroughly.
  3. Add the noodles and shallots to the bowl with the sauce and toss well, until the noodles are thoroughly coated. At this stage, the noodles can be transferred to an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  4. Quarter the avocado around the pit. Remove and peel the segments, then slice into thin strips. Peel the eggs and grate them using the large holes of a box grater. Slice the radishes into thin rounds. Stack the rounds on top of each other and slice into thin matchsticks.
  5. Divide the greens among four bowls, then top with the dressed noodles. Fan the avocado over the noodles in each bowl, then add a pile of the shredded egg, radishes, and scallions to each serving. Drizzle a bit of kecap manis over the avocado and serve.