I’d argue that garlic stands in the top five most important ingredients, ever. But I’m coming clean: no garlic cloves were used in the making of these noodles. I accidentally bought garlic sesame seeds instead of the original, raw variety (a fortunate mistake, really), and since we add some chopped leek to the mix and top off this hot dish with a dollop of chili garlic sauce, I figured we’ve definitely exceeded any onion-genus recipe requirements.
Another confession: Most of the produce used in the making of this bowl wasn’t originally mine. On a lazy day trip to bum fuck nowhere, Lincoln, Mass., I came across a bag of produce left beside a building. The farmer’s market that day had closed hours earlier. Who knows if its rightful owner was coming back for the eight large carrots and few peppers left behind; a girl’s gotta eat, even when that means forgotten roadside vegetables. Let’s not question it.
It’s a week night, we feel like watching Anthony Bourdain rather than reading a 30-page essay in our literature anthology, and all we ate for lunch were leftover cooked-down carrots. Let’s aggressively chop a ton of veggies, sauté them over a bright blue flame, and fold them into a bunch of re-hydrated rice sticks. Yum, rice sticks. Sure, we’re talking about noodles, but “rice sticks” is how they’re advertised, ok?
This recipe feeds about four people. Perfect for a family, or, if you’re cooking alone at 10 p.m. like me, then you’ve got the second best thing to dark chocolate that arrives in a USPS box (thanks, Mom). We’re talking about leftovers, dudes, and now I know what I’ll eat for rest of the week.
After you reheat a bowl, drizzle it with soy sauce, toss in some sesame seeds, and mash that bright, bold chili garlic sauce all around the noodles. Dine with chopsticks, because a) it seems dish-appropriate, and b) if you’re a slob with chopsticks, now’s the chance to practice before you embarrass yourself on a date. Best of luck, bros.
Hot Sesame Garlic Noodles
What you need:
For the noodles and veggies:
- 1 package Dynasty Maifun Rice Sticks (or other rice noodles, ~6.75 ounces)
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 banana pepper, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- half of 1 leek, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
To assemble each bowl:
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- a sprinkling of garlic sesame seeds (or regular sesame seeds if you’re a regular person)
- 2 tsp chili garlic sauce
For the noodles: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, and add the rice sticks. Let them soak for 10 minutes, giving them a stir or two. Strain the noodles, toss them back in the pot, and run a sharp knife around the tight bundle to chop ’em up and loosen up all those tangles.
For the veggies: While the noodles cook, saute the veggies. Pile them all into the biggest pan you can find, drizzle with the olive oil and soy sauce, and let them cook for about 10 minutes. As the carrots start to soften, give the veggies a flip. Just before they’re done, shake some pepper around and give them a final toss.
Fold the veggies into the loosened noodles. It should be 2 parts noodle to 1 part veggie, if you feel me on that ratio. Pile one serving into a bowl, and pack the rest away in the tupperware that you stole from your parents’ house.
Assemble the bowl: Drizzle your dinner with the additional soy sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and spoon in the chili garlic sauce, gently tossing the noodles with your chopsticks. Shovel away.