Monday, September 20, 2010

Cold Sesame Soy Noodles and Potstickers with Dipping Sauce

This little dinner packs in a lot of flavor and a lot of (mostly hidden) vegetables...and can be on your table in 30 minutes!  I adapted this from a Rachael Ray recipe...and frankly, I love Rachael Ray, but her 30-minute meals usually take me more like 45+ minutes.  I know that that is a frequent complaint about her recipes, and so, let me tell you, from a slow cook, this dinner really takes only 30 minutes!

Now, two confessions here...first, those came from the frozen!  I've made potstickers before a little more from scratch.  Those are great for days when I have a little more time.  But I found these Joyce Chen dumplings in the freezer section of my supermarket on sale, and I was very pleasantly surprised by how low in fat and sodium they were.  So, in the cart and onto the plate they went!  Also, my other confession...I adapted this recipe from Rachael Ray's cookbook for kids: Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals For Kids.  Lest my relatives reading this get all excited, let me just assure you that there are no kids here.  But, well, some of us have kiddie taste buds around here!

My adaptations here were to make this recipe a little lighter.  I used less oil, and added in a little brown sugar to the dressing.  When you add less oil to a dressing, you need a way to balance the acidity of the vinegar.  A tablespoon of brown sugar actually packs in fewer calories than the equivalent in oil, and it rounds the flavor out nicely.  I also packed in many more veggies than Rachael Ray suggested.  The shredded cabbage and bean sprouts blend so nicely into the noodles that you don't even realize how many veggies you are getting!  This recipe calls for one of my favorite quick fixes -- the shredded cabbage/carrot blend that you can find near the bagged salads in your grocery section.  I can usually find this at a very reasonable price (usually $1.50 or so).  It is great not just to make slaws with, but also to add to stir-fries and other Asian style dishes such as this one. 

Cold Sesame Soy Noodles and Potstickers with Dipping Sauce
serves 4-6
adapted from Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids

1 package frozen store-bought potstickers, dumplings, or spring rolls (vegetable, chicken, pork, or shrimp)
1/2 cup plum sauce or duck sauce
2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp red-pepper flakes
1 scallion, finely chopped

6oz thin whole-grain spaghetti
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp reduced fat peanut butter
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional, and to taste)
2 cups shredded cabbage and carrot mix (coleslaw mix)
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
1 1/2 cup broccoli florets, chopped.
3 scallions, finely chopped

1. Prepare the dumplings/potstickers/spring rolls according to the package directions.  (I used potstickers and boiled them as opposed to frying to make the dish light and healthy.)
2. Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce by mixing together the 1/2 cup plum or duck sauce, the 2 Tbsp soy sauce, the 2 tsp sesame oil, the 1 tsp red-pepper flakes, and the 1 finely chopped scallion.  Set aside.
3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions so that it is slightly al dente.  During the last five minutes of cooking, add the chopped broccoli to the boiling water.  Once the noodles are done to your liking, drain them with the broccoli and rinse with cold water.  Drain again, quite well.
4. In the bottom of a large bowl, combine the 1/2 cup soy sauce, the 3 Tbsp peanut butter, the 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, the 1 Tbsp sesame oil, the cayenne pepper (to taste), the brown sugar, and the water.  Whisk well.
5.  Add the shredded cabbage and carrots, the bean sprouts, the water chestnuts, the scallions, the broccoli, and the noodles.  Toss well.
6. Serve a mound of noodles with the potstickers/dumplings/spring rolls on the side, along with dipping sauce in a small bowl.


  1. I LOVE sesame noodles SOOO much! And potstickers, too :) I'd love to try making my own potstickers, thought Trader Joe's does make a pretty fabulous one! The noodles look delicious!


  2. I agree that Rachel's meals almost always take longer than thirty minutes. But this sounds delicious! I love potstickers and dumplings, and these are full of so many great veggies!

  3. Rachael's recipes take me more than 30 mins too! I guess that's what happens when you don't have a crew helping you chop and clean! This looks like a great meal :)

  4. I have found the same thing. I usually figure they will take a little longer because she has everything she needs right there. These look great though.

  5. Haha my mom would be so happy if she read that I had magically produced children in the past week. She really wants to be a grandmother. Really bad.

    I definitely have kiddie tastes when ti comes to Asian noodles. These look great!

  6. Those noodles sound fantastic. I usually buy pot stickers. Homemade, on a the scale it takes to feed my large family would take forever.

  7. The noodle sounds yummy! I love the dipping sauce recipe. I will try this soon :)

  8. thank you for this post. it sounds yummy.. i love it!

  9. I guess I always have issues with RR because her measuring is so completely off. I suspect that anything I would make of hers would taste very unlike what she made as far as the seasoning would go. Sometimes she will chop something and say, "Oh, add a 1/4 of a cup"--and then what she adds looks like 2 cups!

  10. I love how many veggies you hide in these noodles. These noodles look so tasty! Yum!

  11. I've been looking for a good peanut sauce for months and months - this looks like it good be a contender! Have to try this on the weekend :)

  12. This noodle dish looks fantastic! I have a very different peanut butter based sauce I make that my family loves, but I think we would really like this one too, especially with all the crisp veggies!

  13. I love cold sesame noodles! These are packed with delicious flavors. And go perfect with pot stickers.

  14. Love this combination....and I have been wanting to make sesame noodles like yours forever. Time to get on it