HOW TO: Make vegan sesame spinach noodles to celebrate Chinese New Year

spinach sesame noodles, vegetarian, Chinese New Year, vegetarian Chinese

Spinach Sesame Noodles

  • 12 oz long noodles (we used organic whole wheat spaghetti, but you can also use linguini, rice noodles, etc)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp sesame oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach
  • 4-6 Tbsp water

For topping:

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Veggies, such as shredded carrots, julienned cucumbers, steamed broccoli, etc

Gather the ingredients. First, cook the noodles. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Put the noodles into a large bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp sesame oil to prevent noodles from sticking together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp sesame oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 3-4 minutes, being careful not to burn them. Turn off the heat and set the pan aside for a few minutes.

Next, make the sauce. In a blender, put the peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, tamari or soy sauce, sesame seeds, lime juice, brown sugar, and sautéed ginger and garlic. Blend until smooth. Next add the spinach in batches, blending well each time. Add water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the sauce is thick and creamy, yet still easily pourable. You want the sauce to be able to coat the noodles easily. Remove the noodles from the refrigerator and pour on the sauce. My preferred method is to add about 1/2 cup of the sauce and then toss the pasta, then add more and toss again until all the noodles are well coated. Top the noodles with the scallions, sesame seeds, and whatever veggies you have chosen and serve. At my house, I like to serve the noodles and veggies to each person and then let each family member sprinkle their own additional toppings. This dish can also go back in the fridge for several hours before serving. Although it can be served chilled, I like it best at room temperature, so I recommend taking it out of the fridge about 1/2 hour before serving it. Enjoy!

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