Saucy, satisfying, and totally addictive, we have a soft spot for sesame noodles. Here, Chef Michelle takes a veggie-forward favorite from the summer and swapping in roasted butternut squash for a seasonal touch. It’s tossed with spinach and chewy long life noodles, which are coated in a dressing of tahini, mirin, sesame oil, sesame seed, and soy for a tangy, super-savory burst of flavor. It’s all garnished with cilantro and crunchy cashews, then squeezed with fresh lime.
3 ounces baby spinach
8 ounces butternut squash
⅛ ounce cilantro
1ounce roasted salted cashews
1 red onion
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces long life noodles
¼ cup sesame oil, divided
¼ cup tahini
3 tablespoons mirin
¼ cup soy sauce
10″ large pot
The squash will come in a variety of sizes and shapes. If possible, cut the cubes into ½-inch pieces, but if they are a bit irregular, that’s okay.
If your sauce is too thick, try stirring in a little warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen it up until it is smooth and pourable.
1. Prepare Ingredients
Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse spinach, pat dry with paper towel, and roughly chop. Cut butternut squash cubes into ½-inch pieces, if needed (see Recipe Tip). Rinse cilantro and pick leaves, discarding stems. Roughly chop cashews, or leave in bag and gently crush with the bottom of a heavy pan. Quarter lime. Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice.
2. Roast Butternut Squash
On a baking sheet, toss butternut squash and onion with crushed red pepper (skip or use half for less heat), 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper as desired. Arrange in a single layer and roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Cook Long Life Noodles
While squash roasts, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in long life noodles and cook until al dente, 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse noodles under cold water for 30 seconds to stop cooking. Return noodles to pot, off heat, and toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
4. Make Sesame Sauce
In a large bowl, whisk together tahini, mirin, soy sauce, and remaining sesame oil until fully combined to make sauce (see Recipe Tip).
5. Finish Sesame Noodles
Add long life noodles to bowl with sesame sauce and toss to coat. Once roasted, add squash and onion to bowl with noodles, along with spinach, and toss to combine. Taste and add salt and black pepper as desired.
6. Plate Sesame Noodles
Divide sesame noodles between shallow serving bowls and garnish with cilantro and cashews. If you have extra time, kick back with a drink and allow the noodles to come to room temperature, or chill in refrigerator until ready to serve (we love them cold!). Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over, and enjoy!