Vaguely Spicy Sesame Noodles

(adapted from "Spicy Sesame Noodles" in Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, The Silver Palate Cookbook 79 (1982))

I made this dish for the first time for the 1997 Berkeley Women's Law Journal retreat. It was a big hit, and now every time I see Donna she reminds me that I promised to give her the recipe.

So here it is.


  • 2 T salt
  • 1 lb. thin pasta (I use linguine)
  • 1/4 c. peanut oil
  • 2 c. Sesame Mayonnaise
  • lots of hot chili oil (check the Asian foods aisle)
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut on the bias, 1/2 in. slices
  • 1 bunch asparagus tips


  1. Cook pasta until just tender.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine pasta and peanut oil. Toss. Let cool to room temp.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the sesame mayonnaise and chili oil. Add enough chili oil to make the mixture a bit spicier than you want the final dish to be (the pasta mitigates the fire of the oil).
  4. Combine green onions, pasta, and mayonnaise mixture. Toss. Cover and refrigerate.
  5. Blanch asparagus tips (bring a pot of water to a boil, dunk asparagus for thirty seconds, remove asparagus and run under cold water until asparagus is cool to the touch).
  6. Slice asparagus on the bias into one inch pieces.
  7. To serve, toss noodles again to redistribute the sauce, and then garnish with asparagus pieces. You can serve it immediately, but the flavor with come out more if you let the noodles warm up slightly first. (With all that mayonnaise, however, you don't want to let it sit at room temperature for too long.)
Serves six as a side dish.