Shanghai style cold noodles are tossed with fresh cucumber, bean sprouts and chives, coated with lots of Asian seasoning and spices, infused in a smooth and creamy peanut butter sauce and topped with sesame seeds and roasted peanuts. This better than takeout, vegan cold noodle salad can be made at home in about 10 minutes. And the best part? They taste just as good the next day, or even better.
What are Cold Noodles?
Cold noodles are just what they sound like they are, noodles that are served cold. They are a very popular dish in the summer months in China and all across Asia. There are so many different ways to prepare cold noodles with different flavours and toppings depending on which region you are in. Today, we are sharing Danny's favourite recipe for Shanghai-style cold noodles that his mom made for him growing up.
Ingredients in Cold Noodles
To make Shanghai-style cold noodles, you will need:
- thin dry wheat noodles - if you can't get your hands on Asian noodles, you can even use spaghetti pasta for this.
- bean sprouts
- cucumber - you can also add in 2 tablespoons of shredded carrots, which is very popular.
- seasonings - white pepper, light soy sauce, black vinegar, black pepper (optional), and chili oil (optional, for a spicy kick).
- white sesame seeds and roasted peanuts - for garnish.
- peanut butter sauce - made with peanut butter, sesame oil, sugar, and hot water.
How to Make the Best Vegetarian/Vegan Cold Noodles with Peanut Butter Sauce
First, prepare the noodles. In a medium pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add dried wheat noodles in the pot and cook the noodles for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the noodles don’t stick to each other. Transfer to a colander and rinse with the cold water for 30 seconds. Drain the noodles and add into a large mixing bowl.
Then, blanch cook the bean sprouts and chives together by boiling them together in the same pot for 1 minute. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water for 30 seconds. Transfer them into the large bowl of noodles.
Add in cucumber, garlic, white pepper, soy sauce, black vinegar, pepper (optional), and chili oil (optional). Stir well to coat the noodles evenly.
In a separate small bowl, add peanut butter, sesame oil, hot water (can use the hot water from the cooking pot) and sugar. Mix well until it becomes a smooth and creamy consistency. Add the peanut butter sauce into the large bowl. Stir well with a spatula to coat the noodles with peanut butter sauce.
Transfer noodles to a plate, sprinkle white sesame seeds and crushed peanuts on top, and serve.
Tips for Making Cold Noodles
- Customize the ingredients. This dish is so versatile. You can add in any vegetables you have on hand. Some of my favourites to add are bok choy, fresh summer corn, and broccoli. You can also add some protein. Grilled chicken or boiled prawns/shrimp go really nice with this.
- Peanut butter substitute. Allergic to peanuts? No problem. Simply substitute the peanut butter for tahini sesame paste.
- Spice it up. You can spice up these noodles by adding some sriracha to the peanut butter sauce, or adding some chili oil.
- How to serve cold noodles. Serve this alongside any of your favourite Asian dishes such as tiger prawns in garlic ginger soy sauce, spicy cumin lamb skewers, or teriyaki salmon.
More Noodle Recipes
- Asian Cold Noodle Salad
- Shanghai Style Fried Noodles
- Spicy Dan Dan Noodles
- 10-Minute Chicken Pad Thai
- Healthy Miso Ramen with Chicken
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.