One of my favorite summer dishes is liang mian, which is Chinese for “cold noodles.” Needless to say, it’s the perfect meal for those hot summer days when you just can’t add any more heat to your body. This is a classic dish which my parents collaborate to make: my mom prepares all the ingredients, and my dad whips together the sauce. We usually make this dish with shredded chicken and cucumbers at home, but since I don’t eat meat at school, I replaced the chicken with sliced hardboiled eggs, for protein, and I added some peppers, just to give it a little extra pop of color.The sauce is what makes this dish, and is tahini and peanut-based, with a touch of sweetness from sugar and a tangy bite from vinegar. Here’s the original sauce recipe, which I had to make a few tweaks to for my version of this dish.
Liang Mian Sauce
3 tbsp sesame seed butter (tahini)
1tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
2-4 tbsp hot water, as needed for consistency
The recipe given to me by my parents calls for dark vinegar, which I can’t find in the grocery store here, so I used rice vinegar instead, and I used agave nectar instead of sugar, since I just thought it would mix together a little more smoothly, since agave nectar is in liquid form. However, this sauce is just as tasty! I’ve used a similar version of it in other dishes, like my sesame-peanut noodles.
Here’s the complete recipe, as I made it.
Liang Mian (Cold Noodles)
Makes 4 servings
6 oz pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)
2 bell peppers, sliced
2 cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
4 eggs, hardboiled and sliced
Sesame Peanut Sauce
3 tbsp tahini sauce
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
Hot water, as needed for consistency
Cook pasta according to package directions. Toss together with peppers, cucumbers, and eggs. Chill.
To make the sauce, whisk together all ingredients except the water. You can adjust ingredients to taste. Thin with hot water until you reach the desired consistency. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat. Serve room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!