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Chinese Peanut Sesame Noodles

Make your own best takeout.

bowl of asian Chinese sesame noodles with peanut butter

Chinese peanut sesame noodles are a popular dish for a reason. (Though not as popular as General Tso’s chicken or egg rolls, according to this survey.) Tasty warm or chilled, the flavor of sesame and a touch of peanut butter are mild, but nonetheless perfectly flavorful, especially when combined with bright scallion and a hit of salt and acid from soy sauce and rice vinegar.

bowl of asian Chinese sesame noodles with peanut butter

Backstory: Chinese Peanut Sesame Noodles

I love developing my own recipes. But I also love sharing others’ recipes that I love and think are worth knowing. This is one of those recipes. The New York Times‘s über-popular recipe for Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles boasts over 6,500 five-star reviews and counting.

This recipe is closely adapted from this Chinese-American classic. I have substituted dry pasta instead of fresh noodles (virtually the same result, and easier and less expensive to source), and slightly adjusted a couple of ingredients and added scallions.

bowl of asian Chinese sesame noodles with peanut butter

Recipe Notes: Chinese Peanut Sesame Noodles

This dish comes together quickly, especially if you make the sauce in advance. You’ll want to have room-temperature or slightly warm noodles when you stir in the sauce. This keeps the sauce nice and silky instead of seizing up. A few more notes:

  • I love to top this with some lightly-crushed peanuts for a bit of crunch and texture
  • If you are able to find fresh lo mein noodles, the equivalent will be one pound. Otherwise, use 8 to 10 ounces dry spaghetti.

bowl of asian Chinese sesame noodles with peanut butter

More Asian-Inspired Favorites:

bowl of asian Chinese sesame noodles with peanut butter

Chinese Peanut Sesame Noodles

A takeout noodle favorite, made right in your kitchen.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Appetizer, dinner, Snack
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keywords:: asian, chinese, dinner, easy, noodles, sesame, tahini, takeout
Servings: 4 servings


  • 8 ounces dried spaghetti noodles or 1 pound fresh or frozen thin lo mein noodles
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, plus a glug
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste (or tahini if not available, though this will taste a bit more mild)
  • 1 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoons finely-grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste or chili oil, or to taste
  • 2 scallions, green and light green parts, sliced thin
  • peanuts and sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)


  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain, rinse well with cold water, and toss with a glug of sesame oil.
  • Whisk together the 2 tablespoons sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, tahini or sesame paste, peanut butter, sugar, ginger, garlic, and chili paste/oil (if using).
  • Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss to coat with most of the scallions and a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve, garnishing with some peanuts, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and the remaining scallions.
    PRO TIP: Have leftovers? The sauce may seize up in the fridge, making the noodles appear a little dry. Rewarm in a pot over medium-low heat with a couple tablespoons of water, tossing frequently, until reconstituted.


  • Sheila Flores

    These noodles look delicious. Do you use toasted or light sesame oil?

    • Unpeeled

      Hi, Sheila! I use toasted because I like the slightly more robust flavor, but either will be fine.

  • Rachel Kadowitz

    5 stars
    Very good recipe and was easy to make. Thank you for the tip about reheating. It worked very well with a little bit of water.

  • Kelly S

    5 stars
    I am making this now – but don’t see a measurement for rice vinegar? Its part of the sauce – but not listed in the ingredients …so I am winging it!

    • Unpeeled

      Egads!! Thank you for the close read! I always love when I have an editor 🙂 If I’m not too late, do 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar. I’ve corrected the recipe. Thanks again, and my sincere apologies for the omission!

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