Cold sesame noodles 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.14.11 Noodle Head

If you lived in New York City any time in the last 40 years, you've definitely eaten cold sesame noodles straight from the takeout carton. They were hugely popular in the 70s and 80s, and there is a deviant but delicious Silver Palate recipe that's still hugely relevant. The classic version of the dish is defined by chewy noodles, a peanutty-sesame sauce and a not-entirely-incidental garnish of crisp cucumber slivers. Just the thought of them is enough to make you dial Empire Szechuan on a hot summer night. But if they don't arrive exactly how you like them, with the perfect balance of creamy, spicy and sweet, it can be hugely disappointing—the "fridge-flavored nostalgia" Sam Sifton cautioned against in his 2007 Times piece lauding this legendary dish. So why not learn to make cold sesame noodles yourself? Next thing you know you'll be blasting the soundtrack from Saturday Night Fever and making reservations at Mr. Chow.
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