The Happy Home Cook: Peanut-Sesame Pasta Salad

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Peanut-Sesame Pasta Salad (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino) 

Peanut-Sesame Pasta Salad (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino) 

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer here in America. Our outdoor grills will be busy once again while we cook our favorite barbecues all summer long. This easy Peanut-Sesame Pasta Noodle Salad is one of my family's favorites to pair with the pork or chicken Filipino barbecues I often make. In fact, the nutty and sweet flavors of this chilled, hearty salad make it an ideal pairing with any type of entree. Or if you want, enjoy it as a meal. This recipe was inspired from the Kitchen Play site. Serves 2.

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spaghetti noodles - 8 ounces, about 2 cups when cooked
vegetable oil - 2 Tablespoons
fresh ginger – 2 teaspoons, minced
garlic - 1 clove, minced
creamy peanut butter - 4 teaspoons
hot water - 4 to 6 Tablespoons
soy sauce - 4 teaspoons
rice wine vinegar - 4 teaspoons
red pepper flakes - 1/2 teaspoon
brown sugar - 4 teaspoons
sesame oil - 1 teaspoon
lettuce leaves - 4 to 5 pieces, for garnish
scallions or green onions - 1 to 2 stalks, sliced for garnish
roasted sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon, for garnish
red bell pepper - 1 medium piece, sliced, for garnish


  1. Cook spaghetti noodles al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta and set aside.

  2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, add vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, add garlic and fresh ginger. Sauté for 1 minute.

  3. Separately in a small bowl, dilute the peanut butter in the hot water till smooth. Add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes and brown sugar to the peanut butter mixture. Blend well till there are no more lumps from the peanut butter. Pour this into the saucepan. Add the sesame oil. When mixture boils turn heat off.

  4. Pour the peanut butter dressing over the noodles. Blend well till dressing coats all the noodles. When the noodles and dressing have cooled, refrigerate till ready to serve.

  5. To serve: Line the salad bowl with lettuce leaves spread out at the bottom and sides. Pour the noodles with peanut dressing over the lettuce. Garnish with scallions, roasted sesame seeds and red bell pepper slices. Serve chilled.

COOK'S COMMENTS: I used regular spaghetti noodles for this recipe. Feel free to use the pasta of your choice or preference. Double the recipe if you need more servings.

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey is a journalist and author of the “How to Cook Philippine Desserts: Cakes and Snacks” Cookbook. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and blogs about Filipino home cooking on her site

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