Sesame Noodles & Ginger Sauce

July 14th, 2011 / comments 3


adirondack chair l Sesame Noodles & Ginger Sauce

Watercolor painting by Carol Egbert

Saturday, white puffy clouds danced across the cobalt blue sky, the grass was freshly mowed and my Kindle was giving me that ‘come hither’ look. It was a day to make one of my favorite (nearly) no-cook, (almost) zero effort dinners. This dinner has four steps:

  • Determine menu
  • See what’s in the pantry and fridge
  • Go to market for what isn’t
  • Pull dinner together

Charles and I decided to split the tasks. I decided we would have roasted chicken with pink ginger sauce, sesame noodles and a nectarine salad. I found soy sauce, cayenne pepper, vinegar, canola oil, garlic, honey, sesame seeds and sesame oil in the pantry and mayonnaise, sour cream, catsup and pickled ginger in the fridge. Charles went to the market to get a rotisserie cooked chicken, a box of pasta, scallions, fresh ginger and some nectarines. I got lost in my book and snoozed a bit.

When I woke up, I put a large pot of water on the stove over medium heat. In less than half an hour after Charles returned from the market, we sat down to an Asian inspired summer dinner. Here’s how we did it:

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Szechuan Cucumber Pickles & Sesame Noodles

August 11th, 2010 / comments 7

In 1980, our friend Tom went on a trip to China. Tom was an architect who loved adventure, and in those days, going to South America was exotic but a trip China was unimaginable. Tom had a wonderful time and, as an intrepid cook, he brought back exotic recipes and memories of extraordinary meals.

Asian pat c egbert Szechuan Cucumber Pickles & Sesame Noodles

Soon after his return, he invited us to dinner. When we arrived, he was emptying the wood shavings from his pencil sharpener into the wok. We watched as he added the contents of two tea bags to the wood shavings. He explained that he was going to make tea smoked chicken for dinner. He put a bamboo steamer filled with raw chicken over the tea and wood shavings, covered everything with aluminum foil, put it on the stove and turned on the heat. The tea and wood smoldered and I worried about the yellow paint from the pencils, but Tom explained that it wasn’t a problem and that the smoke imparted a wonderful flavor to the chicken.

duck c egbert Szechuan Cucumber Pickles & Sesame Noodles

While we waited for the chicken to smoke, we enjoyed a cucumber salad that Tom had learned to make in China, and he described the all-duck banquet in Beijing that marked the end of his trip. He described, in detail, dishes made from duck innards, head, wings and webs. We neglected the wok and concentrated on the salad that was spicy, loaded with garlic, Szechuan peppers and peanuts. Unfortunately, the bamboo steamer that held the chicken above the smoke caught fire and so did the chicken. Our dinner was a bit meager, steamed rice and cucumber salad, but we laughed a lot and I went home with a great recipe for Szechuan Chinese pickles. We call it Tom’s Chinese Cucumber Salad and the recipe is my souvenir from his trip.

On a steamy evening a couple of weeks ago, I made Szechuan Cucumber salad and sesame noodles for dinner and we drank a toast in memory of our friend Tom and his love of exotic food. Here’s how I made it:

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Sesame Noodles with Grilled Asparagus

August 6th, 2009 / comments 3

Tonight we are having dinner with friends and I’m taking sesame noodles with grilled asparagus. I love pot luck meals – our friends are great cooks with varied styles so dinner will be wonderful and we will have shared the work and the fun.

sesame+noodles+01 Sesame Noodles with Grilled Asparagus
This salad is one of my favorites because it is easy to put together and travels well. Here’s how I make it: … read more

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