Sesame Noodles (Ma Jiang Mian)

Quick Gourmet Sesame Noodles (Ma Jiang Mian) In a Flash!

Shanghai’s Culinary Treasure

Diving into Shanghai’s culinary heart, you’ll stumble upon an obsession called Sesame Noodles (Ma Jiang Mian) – it’s kind of the city’s best-kept noodle secret, if you ask me.

Behind the Recipe’s Charm

On my journey of uncovering this dish’s soul, I chanced upon a revealing chat with the head chef of Wei Xiang Zhai, unveiling the subtle intricacies that make their sesame noodles an icon:

  • They incorporate the rich oil used for frying pork chops into their sesame concoction – talk about elevating flavors!
  • A fusion of peanut butter and sesame paste graces their recipe, while most stick strictly to the latter.
  • The culinary magic lies in their unique use of pork and beef braising sauce, as opposed to plain water, for achieving that delightful sesame sauce consistency.
  • The punchy chili oil originates from their spicy meat mix, typically reserved for the fiery la rou mian.

Despite its seeming simplicity, this bowl boasts depth from its meat-infused components. Reimagining these elements to suit everyday kitchens was a puzzle. So, I’ve crafted a quick yet flavorful take on these noodles. If you’ve ever indulged in braised beef or have some sauce leftovers, you possess the magic touch to make these noodles sing. However, always be mindful of the salt!

Making Gourmet in 10 Minutes

Labeled as my “10-minute gourmet noodles”, crafting this dish is as swift as boiling your choice of noodles. As water bubbles in anticipation, you can effortlessly conjure the tantalizing sesame sauce. Meld the sauce with freshly boiled noodles, sprinkle a few condiments, and you’re set for a feast!


  • 4 oz. fresh wheat noodles (or substitute with a serving of dried noodles)
  • ½ tablespoon sesame paste
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons rice vinegar (adjust to your preference)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 5 tablespoons hot water (or leftover braised meat sauce, if you have it)
  • 1 fresh scallion, finely chopped
  • A dash of chili oil (for those who crave a kick)

Steps to Deliciousness

  1. Follow the noodle package’s guidance to achieve perfectly cooked strands.
  2. Parallelly, craft your sauce. Blend sesame paste, peanut butter, light soy sauce, optional rice vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar, and water (or meat sauce). Commit to stirring in a single direction till a consistent paste materializes.
  3. Marry the freshly drained noodles with your sauce. Introduce chopped scallions and chili oil to the mix, ensuring you stir while the noodles are piping hot!

Enjoying these noodles alongside a chilled cucumber salad not only balances the richness but also adds a refreshing crunch to the meal.

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