Cold Chinese noodles a hot weather favorite

Most everyone likes Chinese food, but many haven't tried one of my favorite Chinese dishes, made with cold noodles. It may sound a little odd, but it has a flavor like peanut butter which appeals to most people and it's very popular in hot weather.

Here is the recipe, from "Chinese Cooking for the American Kitchen," by Karen Lee, with Aileen Robbins Friedman (Atheneum, $12.95). Karen Lee's Spicy Cold Noodles 1 tablespoon peanut oil 1/2 pound fresh egg noodles 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil 1 cup mung bean sprouts Sauce: 2 tablespoons sesame seed paste 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce 1/2 tablespoon Chinese red vinegar 1/2 tablespoon chili oil 1/2 tablespoon sesame seed oil 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced 1 clover garlic, minced 2 scallions, white and green, chopped

Bring 4 quarts water to rapid boil in a 6- quart saucepan and add peanut oil. Boil noodles 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with chopsticks. Drain in colander and rinse with cold water. Cut into 6-inch pieces; mix with sesame seed oil and set aside. Rinse bean sprouts, drain, and dry well.

In a bowl, mix sesame seed paste, soy sauce until well blended. Add red vinegar, chili oil, sesame seed oil, and sugar. Add ginger, garlic, and scallions and combine well.

When ready to serve, mix bean sprouts and noodles with 2 wooden spoons.Stir sauce again and pour over noodles, tossing until ingredients are well coated.

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