These 10-minute Asian Sesame Noodles, ma jiang mian, are a Din Tai Fung copycat recipe, made with a creamy sesame and peanut sauce.
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What are Sesame Noodles?
Sesame noodles, ma jiang mian in Chinese, are a quick noodle dish, doused in a nutty and creamy sesame peanut sauce, and can be made in under 10 mins. These refreshing noodles are typically eaten cold, during the summer, but can also be served warm and accompanied with protein and veggies.
Ma jiang mian is a popular Chinese street food, and origins can be traced back to both Taiwan and China. These Sesame Noodles are a copycat recipe of the famous Taiwanese restaurant, Din Tai Fung’s “Noodles with Sesame Sauce”, and today I will show you how to make it at home!
They are a comforting, weekday meal for those in a rush, or too busy to cook. With peanut noodles and sesame noodles are on the rise, this trending noodle dish will definitely satisfy your noodle cravings. If you enjoy these 10-minute noodles, make sure to check out my 10-Minute Gochujang Noodles.
Please watch my Sesame Noodles video, as I walk you through how to make them, and hopefully entertain you with my witty sense of humour.
Now let’s get Sesame Noodle-ing!
What is Din Tai Fung?
Din Tai Fung is a world renowned Taiwanese restaurant, with branches found in both Asia, North America, and Europe.
The restaurant sells classic Taiwanese dishes, such as dumplings, noodles, and fried rice. However, they are most well-known internationally for their soup dumplings, xiao long bao (XLB).
Din Tai Fung’s origin story:
Din Tai Fung was founded in 1958 by Yang Bingyi in Taipei, Taiwan.
Bingyi worked ten years at a cooking oil retailer, Heng Tai Fung (恆泰豐), in Taiwan, but in 1958, he and his wife, Lai Penmei, decided to open their own cooking oil retailer. They named it “Din Tai Fung”, by combining the names of “Heng Tai Fung” and their new supplier, “DinMei Oils”.
In the early 70’s, their cooking oil business was failing as tinned cooking oil stole the limelight. With the advice from Bingyi’s previous employer, Heng Tai Fung, they decided transform half of their store to producing and selling soup dumplings, xiao long bao (XLB).
In 1972, the XLB’s were in hot demand, so Bingyi and Penmei halted their cooking oil business and decided switch into the restaurant business.
Does Din Tai Fung have a Michelin star?
Yes, the Din Tai Fung’s Tsim Sha Tsui, Silvercord branch in Hong Kong has been awarded one Michelin star.
My question is: Why doesn’t the original Din Tai Fung branch in Xinyi Road, Taipei, Taiwan have a Michelin star yet? (Hmm…)
Din Tai Fung’s Sesame Noodles secret recipe breakdown:
Din Tai Fung is very secretive with their menu and they don’t reveal a lot. On their American website, the dish is titled, “Noodles with Sesame Sauce” – which makes it seem like they only use sesame paste in their noodle sauce.
However, since I am a professional sesame noodle expert, I have found their sesame sauce ingredients list.
To peanut butter or not to peanut butter?
Din Tai Fung’s Taiwan online store sells various gift boxes for any occasion, and one of them is called “rich sesame sauce noodles gift box”.
Scroll down on the webpage and BAM we found the motherload: the sesame noodles sauce ingredients list – and it has peanut butter listed as one of them.
Why do we use both sesame paste and peanut butter?
Besides the fact that Din Tai Fung uses it in their recipe, I believe the addition of peanut butter is mostly logistical:
Peanut butter is much cheaper than Chinese sesame paste. It adds more volume to the sesame sauce, thus, stretching out the amount you can use per serving.
Consistency wise, the peanut butter adds more creaminess and thickness to the sauce. However, the mild peanut butter flavour gets overpowered by the flavour of the toasted sesame paste.
Do i need to add peanut butter to my Sesame Noodles?
No, if you are allergic to peanuts or do not like it, then you don’t need to use it. You can substitute the peanut butter with more sesame paste.
However, to get the most authentic Din Tai Fung sesame noodle flavour, it’s pertinent to use peanut butter.
Note: If you solely use sesame paste, you should use 3 tbsps of water instead of 1/4 cup of water when diluting the sauce, since sesame paste is more liquid-y.
What do Sesame Noodles taste like?
When you first take a bite you get hit with that nutty and savoury flavour of the sesame peanut sauce. Then you chew a little, and you can taste the perfect mixture of garlic and ginger. The bullion and Chinese five spices adds a nice depth and body to the noodles.
The creaminess of the sesame peanut sauce, mixed with the chewy noodles, when eaten, gives you such a warm and comforting feeling.
Ingredients for Sesame Noodles
Din Tai Fung uses fresh, thin, egg noodles. However, you can use any noodle that tickle your oodle. Fresh noodles work best with these sesame noodles, but you can also use dry.
I’m using fresh, Shanghai style noodles, which are a medium thickness.
Chinese sesame paste
Chinese sesame paste is the star of the show, and it’s made from grounded, toasted sesame seeds. It has a roasted and bitter flavour, with no sweetness.
You could also use the middle eastern version, tahini, but since it’s made with un-toasted sesame seeds, the flavour will be slightly different.
You can use any peanut butter you fancy. Crunchy or smooth, natural or processed.
However, I will be using smooth, processed peanut butter as that is what Din Tai Fung uses.
Sauces & seasonings
The flavour enhancing ingredients are soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger, chicken bullion (secret ingredient), and Chinese five spice. Together, they make the iconic Din Tai Fung sesame noodle flavour.
How to make Sesame Noodles
Make Sesame Noodle sauce
Place all the Sesame Noodle sauce ingredients into a bowl, mix well until it becomes a thick paste. Set it aside.
Cook noodles according to package
To a pot of boiling water, add your noodles, and cook it according the cooking directions on the package. It took these fresh, Shanghai style noodles, 2 mins to cook into the perfect al dente.
Fish the noodles out and place into a bowl. If you want cold and chewier noodles, you can rinse the noodles in cold water for 10 seconds before plating.
Whisk in 1/4 cup of hot, noodle water with the Sesame Noodle paste, until the sesame sauce reaches an Alfredo sauce-like consistency.
Plate noodles with Sesame Noodle sauce
For the signature Din Tai Fung noodle-plating style, pour the Sesame Noodle sauce along the perimeter of the noodles.
Drizzle some sesame oil on top of the noodles, followed by thinly sliced green onions, and crushed peanuts.
You can optionally top it off with your favourite chili oil. Mix, and serve immediately.
There we have it, Sesame Noodles – Din Tai Fung style! And while the noodles are looking nice and chewy, lets dig in.
10-Minute Sesame Noodles
- 450g noodles wheat or egg noodles
Sesame Noodle Sauce
- 3 tbsp Chinese sesame paste or tahini
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 2 tsp white granulated sugar
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- ½ tsp ginger grated
- ¼ tsp chicken bullion or vegetable
- ⅛ tsp Chinese five spice optional
- ¼ cup noodle water hot
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 stalk green onion thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp peanuts crushed
- 1 tbsp chili oil optional
- Place all the Sesame Noodle sauce ingredients into a bowl, mix well until it becomes a thick paste. Set it aside.
- Cook your noodles of choice according to the cooking directions on the package. Fish the noodles out and into a bowl (Note 1).
- Whisk in 1/4 cup of hot, noodle water with the Sesame Noodle paste, until the sesame sauce reaches an Alfredo sauce-like consistency.
- Pour the Sesame Noodle sauce along the perimeter of the noodles.
- Drizzle some sesame oil on top of the noodles, followed by thinly sliced green onions, and crushed peanuts (Note 2). Mix, and serve immediately.
- Rinse the noodles in cold water for 10 seconds for cold and chewier noodles.
- You can also top the noodles off with your favourite chili oil.
I love this dish at DTF, and wanted to try it at home. So glad I found your recipe! I couldn’t find Chinese Sesame Paste at the Asian market I visited today, but I got some toasted sesame seeds and made my own (thanks for pointing out the differences between it and tahini). I will keep looking for it in the stores for future use. I found your recipe to be a very good copycat of the DTF one 🙂 The only thing I did differently was to add a bit more peanut butter, because it wasn’t nutty enough, probably due to the sesame paste issue. My parents and I really enjoyed the dish, very tasty, and I’ll be making it often in the future. Thanks!!!