Taiwanese Cold Sesame Noodles (涼麵, Liang Mian)

A simple noodle dish garnished with egg, cucumbers, and carrots with a sesame sauce, Liang Mian is a popular dish sold from casual eateries, street food stalls and convenience stores across Taiwan. This recipe is from Made in Taiwan by Clariss Wei, published by Simon and Schuster.

Cold Sesame Noodles

Read our detailed book review of Made In Taiwan.

Cold Sesame Noodles

Cold Sesame Noodles | 涼麵, Liang Mian

There’s a cold noodle vendor called Liu Mama’s 劉媽媽麵館 in Taipei that’s open exclusively from 9:30 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. By virtue of their hours, they serve a distinct class of night owls who crave sesame-drenched noodles with scoops of julienned cucumbers. It sounds bland in comparison to the typical and perhaps more comforting repertoire of greasy late-night skewers, but there’s something both fortifying and refreshing about finishing off a really late night with a large plate of cold noodles. These noodles are also very much a popular lunch staple. So popular, in fact, that you can buy them refrigerated and ready-to-eat at all convenience stores across the country.
Servings 4 - 6
Author Clarissa Wei / Ivy Chen

Ingredients

FOR THE SESAME SAUCE:

  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (135 ml) water
  • ½ cup (120 ml) soy sauce
  • ½ cup (120 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1⁄4 pound (115 g) toasted sesame seeds
  • 1⁄4 cup + 1 tablespoon (60 g) white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, plus more if needed
  • 1⁄4 cup (30 g) unsalted roasted peanuts 30 g unsalted roasted peanuts

FOR THE NOODLES:

  • pounds (1.1 kg) oil noodles or 19 ounces (540 g) dried lo mein / ramen noodles (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon canola (rapeseed) or soybean oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • medium Japanese cucumbers or any seedless cucumber (150 g), cut into matchsticks
  • large carrots (150 g), peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • Garlic Puree (optional
  • Chili crisp, any brand (optional)

Recipe Notes

Fresh ramen noodles are another great alternative to homemade Oil Noodles. They can be found in the refrigerated section in many Asian specialty stores.

Instructions

MAKE THE SESAME SAUCE:

  • In the blender, combine the water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, sugar, and sesame oil, and process on high speed until completely creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the peanuts, and blend until smooth again, about another 1 minute. If you prefer a runnier consistency, add more sesame oil to taste.

MAKE THE NOODLES:

  • Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat, and cook the Oil Noodles until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. If using dried noodles, cook according to the package instructions. Prepare a large ice bath to the side. Drain the noodles in a colander, and transfer to an ice bath to cool down completely, about 20 seconds. Drain again, and drizzle ½ teaspoon of the oil over the noodles to coat. Toss to combine so they don’t stick together. Set aside for later.

  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and 1 tablespoon water. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and into a clean bowl; this part is important and will make sure the egg comes out uniform and not clumpy.

  • Brush the remaining ½ teaspoon oil onto a nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat. When the pan is hot, pour in the egg mixture and tilt the pan so that the egg forms a thin and even film. Immediately cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and wait until the egg completely solidifies, 30 seconds to 1 minute. When the egg is cool enough to handle, gently peel it off the frying pan with your fingers or chopsticks and place it on a cutting board. Roll it into a burrito and cut it crosswise into thin.-inch (6 mm) strips.

  • To serve, divide the noodles into serving plates. Neatly arrange some egg strips, sliced cucumbers, and sliced carrots on top of each serving. Dress with the sesame sauce and plop a bit of the garlic puree and chili crisp on top, if using. Stir the sauce into the noodles. Enjoy immediately or serve chilled.

You can find more Taiwanese content here.

You may also like to see all of our East Asian recipes.

 

Kavey Eats bought a copy of Made in Taiwan by Clarissa Wei when visiting Taiwan in October. Recipe and images from the book reproduced courtesy of Simon and Schuster. Styling and photography by Yen Wei and Ryan Chen. Home-cooking photography by Kavita Favelle.

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