I first made these vegan garlic sesame noodles at a tiny airbnb in Southwest Harbor, Maine. It was our first stop on a year-long road trip. The weather was foggy and chilly, with fleeting moments of sunshine that made us all the more grateful for the warmth and the views.
Meal prep, understandably, had been taking a backseat to getting out and exploring. Aaron and I were mostly focused on fuel that was quick and portable, so there were lots of protein shakes and bars, canned beans, and throw-together soups. We’ve hadn’t been eating out at all, and even though it had only been a few days, I still felt good about that. It was better not only for our bank account, but also for our waistlines and energy levels. That’s where these simple garlic sesame noodles came in.
After a speedy, strenuous hike around Valley Cove and Saint Sauveur Mountain, we were craving carbs big time. Something salty and a little sweet, garlicky and spicy…reminiscent of Chinese takeout minus the grease and unfortunate food coma that follows. These vegan garlic sesame noodles, with only nine basic ingredients that can be found at most any grocery store (off the grid or in the city), really hit the spot. They’re as simple as boiling water, cooking pasta, and slicing a few vegetables. And the flavor! You should be able to get eight servings out of this according to the pasta package, but we got more like five. In part because hiking makes you hangry, and also because just like Chinese takeout, you will crave one more bite, then another, and another.
- 1 pound brown rice spaghetti (or vermicelli if you prefer thinner noodles), cooked in salted water
- 1½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 cup sliced green onions, divided
- 7 medium cloves garlic, minced
- scant ½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (or to taste)
- ¼ cup tamari sauce (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Heat a large pan over low-medium heat. Pour in the sesame oil and once warmed, stir in ¾ cup of the green onions, garlic, and red chili flakes. Cook until the garlic is a light golden brown and fragrant, stirring every so often so it doesn't burn. Add the tamari, coconut sugar, and rice vinegar and stir to combine. Add the prepared and drained noodles and toss to coat them in the sauce. Allow the noodles to cook for 1-2 minutes, or until they are heated through. Garnish with the remaining ¼ cup sliced green onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve immediately.