Tahini Noodles can be served hot or cold. With a light tahini sauce full of vegetables and rice noodles, this tahini noodle bowl is a fabulous, gluten-free, oil-free noodle bowl you will love. Dinner is 30 minutes or less!
Light yet satisfying tahini noodles are the answer to your 30 minutes or less dinner. When I'm in a hurry, I still want a quality meal even though I have limited time. Delicious, and satisfying, this Asian tahini noodle bowl is packed with vegetables and a light Asian tahini dressing. And this tahini noodle recipe can be made a day in advance for even more speedy delivery.
You can customize the tahini noodle bowl based on what's in your refrigerator or what you're craving.
I found purple and white cabbage, green onions, leftover shelled edamame, red pepper, and other veggies in my refrigerator.
So, I used my extra veggies and dressed them up for dinner from start to finish.
- Rice Noodles: I like Thai Kitchen Rice Noodles the best. You can choose wide noodles or thinner ones, which are oil-free and gluten-free.
- Broccoli florets: I love broccoli in bowls because it absorbs any sauce like a sponge. If your dish is spicy, broccoli always holds the heat.
- Red cabbage: Although called red cabbage, the purple hue is my favorite way to add color and crunch to a recipe.
- Green cabbage: I like to use green cabbage, which looks white, or I love Napa cabbage for a more delicate addition to the bowl.
- Carrots: I shred my carrots instead of chopping them, so they are similar to the texture of the cabbage.
- Red Bell Pepper: The red bell pepper adds vibrant red color and a sweet taste to the dish. For texture, I cut the red bell pepper, similar to the cabbage and carrots.
- Scallions: I love green onions because they are mild but add a unique addition to the bowl. Add the greens at the ends as well.
- Jalapeño: Make sure to use gloves when handling jalapenos. Jalapenos are very mild if the seeds and veins are removed. However, if you like it spicier, add a few seeds to heat things up.
- Mame- shelled edamame: Shelled edamame can be found in the produce section kept cold or in the freezer department. I always buy them shelled to save myself some time.
- Fresh cilantro: I love cilantro, but if you are someone who tastes soap when you eat cilantro, choose Thai basil instead for this recipe.
- Peanuts: The peanuts add a crunch and a salty component to the noodle dish.
- Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are a good source of healthy fats, protein, B vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. Just a sprinkle will do.
- Any noodles work well with this recipe.
- Choose green or yellow bell peppers to substitute for red bell peppers.
- Skip the jalapeno if you don't like spice, or if you like spice, consider adding a couple of seeds to make it hotter.
- Choose cashews as an option to replace the peanuts, or for a nut-free version, skip the peanuts altogether.
- Add any veggies you enjoy.
- Thai Basi is wonderful with these flavors.
- Substitute carrot ginger dressing as a nut-free, sesame-free dressing.
How to Prepare Rice Noodles
Rice noodles are noodles made from rice, so they are naturally gluten-free.
The principal ingredients, for example, are rice flour and water.
Rice noodles are delicious, but they also cook in 4-6 minutes, depending on how you like them. Furthermore, rice noodles absorb the flavors of the dressing and maintain their texture regardless of dressing in advance.
Another great tip for cooking rice noodles is that it only takes 4-6 minutes to boil; you can also cook vegetables, like broccoli, simultaneously in the same pot.
How to Make the Noodle Bowl
To satisfy my Asian food craving, I focused on creating delicious, slightly spicy, sweet, crunchy, and healthy tahini noodles. With that in mind, the tahini sauce brings the savory and sweet flavors together in beautiful harmony.
Although I'm typically a savory girl, I like it slightly sweet. So I always add more red pepper flakes or ask for extra spice at our local Asian restaurant.
Not only do tahini noodles make a fabulous dinner, but if you're smart, you make enough for lunch the next day.
The longer it marinates in the dressing, the more fabulous the vegan Thai tahini noodle bowls taste.
How to Make the Tahini Sauce
Despite my usual miso tahini dressing or Thai peanut dressing, I decided to use tahini differently for this particular tahini noodle bowl. Tahini, a paste made of pureed sesame seeds, is like almond butter or peanut butter but with a milder flavor.
Even though tahini is often used in Middle Eastern dishes such as edamame hummus, tahini is a versatile ingredient because it heightens the flavors of the other ingredients in the dressing.
Though the main ingredient, the tahini serves as the creamy base for the roasted sesame-flavored dressing.
- Tahini: Tahini may look a little like peanut butter, but it doesn't taste like it. Tahini isn't sweet like most nut butter; the nutty flavor is strong and earthy and can be a little bitter.
- Fresh Ginger: Whenever possible, I suggest using fresh over powdered ginger. There is also paste available as well.
- Garlic: Again, fresh garlic is always preferred over jarred or dried.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: Rice wine vinegar has a sweet flavor and works well with tahini to balance the flavors.
- Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice is always better, but bottled lime juice works in a pinch.
- Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce: I suggest a low sodium version because the tahini also has sodium
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Red pepper flakes give the dressing a little kick. If you don't like spice, skip this ingredient.
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup gives the dressing a little sweetness
- Water: The water is used to thin the dressing
- Sea Salt: Just a little pinch of salt brings out the savoriness of the dressing.
- Pepper to taste: I prefer fresh ground pepper whenever possible
- Choose almond butter or another nut butter to substitute the tahini.
- Ginger paste is closer to fresh ginger than powdered.
- Mirin is a good substitute for rice vinegar, and champagne vinegar also has a light and sweeter profile.
- Date syrup or agave works well in place of maple syrup.
- If you don't have red pepper flakes, consider adding a small amount of cayenne pepper.
- Choose Tamari or coconut aminos to replace the soy sauce for a gluten-free option.
How to Assemble the Bowl
Add additional flavors to the tahini noodles before serving. For example, serve peanuts, wasabi peas, sriracha peas, and extra red pepper flakes on the side. Furthermore, adding more cilantro is also an option.
Tahini, sometimes called tahina, is a ground sesame butter or paste traditionally used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It takes a starring turn in dips such as hummus and baba ghanoush, gets drizzled on falafel sandwiches, or is made into tarator, a tahini-lemon-garlic sauce to accompany vegetables or other vegan dishes.
Tahini isn't sweet like most nut butter; the nutty flavor is strong and earthy and can be a little bitter. If the bitterness is strong, that could mean the batch is old or expired.
Stirring a tablespoon or two of tahini into a stewed vegetable dish can add a hint of toasted, sesame flavor and a pleasant and subtle creaminess.
- When making a dressing with tahini, add the tahini into the blender last so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the blender. It tends to be thick and sticky.
- Transfer the rice noodles to a colander and rinse them in cold water to cool them down quickly if you are planning to eat the noodles cold. However, if you plan to eat them hot, transfer them immediately to the bowl to toss with the other ingredients once the noodles are drained.
- For a gluten-free option, choose Tamari instead of soy in the dressing.
Suggested Asian Recipes
If you love this Tahini Noodle recipe, give it a 5-star review, and let us know what you think in the comments below!
THAI NOODLE BOWL
- 8 ounces Rice Noodles
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup red cabbage – thinly sliced
- 1 cup green cabbage shredded
- 3 large carrots julienned (about 1 cup)
- 1 red bell pepper julienned
- ½ cup scallions white and green parts – thinly sliced
- 1 Jalapeño seeded and minced
- 1 cup Edamame - shelled
- 3 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro – roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup Peanuts
- 3 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
GINGER TAHINI DRESSING
- 4 Tablespoons Tahini
- 2 inches Fresh Ginger – peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves Garlic - minced
- 2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon Lime Juice
- 6 Tablespoons Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 6 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 4 Tablespoons water
- 1/12 teaspoon Sea Salt
- Pepper to taste
SAUCE TO MARINATE TOFU IF ADDING TOFU TO THE RECIPE
- ½ cup Tahini
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 4 teaspoons Sriracha
GInger Tahini Dressing
- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth
- Set aside
- Cut and julienne vegetables; except broccoli florets
- Place vegetables into a large bowl, except for the broccoli
- Cook and shell edamame (I used mame; already shelled edamame); set aside to cool
- In a large pot, fill ¾ full of water; add a little salt
- Bring to a boil
- Add rice noodles and broccoli
- Boil for 4-6 minutes
- Drain using a colander and run cold water over noodles and broccoli until cool
- Shake to drain again.
- Add noodles and broccoli to the bowl with vegetables
- Pour sauce over noodles/vegetables and toss
- *This salad can be made 1 day ahead of time, dressed.
- Serve salad in individual bowls
- Add cilantro, nuts, or any additions to the top
- Serve with chopsticks or a fork
- Prepare this salad up to 1 day ahead of time.
- For optimum flavors, dress the noodles and allow them to chill in the refrigerator.
- When making the dressing, add the tahini to the blender last, so it doesn't stick to the base of the blender.
- If you don't like the taste of cilantro, Thai basil is wonderful with these flavors.
- If eating this dish warm or hot, consider, sauteeing all the vegetables while the noodles cook. Then toss everything together once the noodles are drained.
- I like this dish with grilled tofu.
- Substitute any nut butter for tahini, or for a nut-free option, try carrot ginger dressing.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂