Spicy sauces mixed in with mild noodles give abundant energy and clarity of thought. The noodles relax us, while the spices stimulate our thinking and inspire us to action. Be sure to rinse the somen noodles well, as Japanese noodles are coated with salt and require rinsing for the best flavor.
Makes 3-4 servings
1 pound somen noodles
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, juice extracted, pulp discarded
1/4 cup sesame tahini
2 teaspoons organic soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar, plus more to taste
6-8 fresh scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for serving
3-4 tablespoons black sesame seeds, lightly pan-toasted, for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles until al dente, 6-8 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water.
While the noodles cook, heat the sesame oil in a skillet over very low heat. Stir in the ginger juice and cook for 1-2 minutes to “open” the flavor. Remove from heat and whisk in the tahini, soy sauce, and chili powder. Whisk in the rice vinegar to taste. Adjust the seasoning to your liking.
To serve, simply toss the cooked noodles with the sauce and scallions and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with the black sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature or chilled .
Cook’s Tip: If you are serving this dish chilled, do not mix the sauce into the pasta until just before you are ready to serve as it can thicken and become pasty. Chill the sauce and the noodles separately. Rinse the cold noodles and mix together with the sauce.