{Recipe} Sesame Ban Mian with Zoodles

If you’re a regular around here, I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I’m Filipino. I’m assuming all the Filipino inspired recipes have probably tipped you off by now. What you may not have caught is that I’m also part Chinese.

Pause for dramatic effect.

Yeah, you really don’t care, huh?

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Anyway, my grandfather is Chinese, but while I am part Chinese, I wasn’t raised with a lot of the traditions or home cooked food that a Chinese heritage would normally include. Tiger Dad? Now that I did have. 😉

We lived continents away from the rest of my Chinese family, while my mom’s (Filipino) family was 5-10 minutes away. As a child surrounded mostly by my Filipino relatives I didn’t really appreciate the Chinese side of my heritage. As I grew older I regretted not learning more about my dad’s culture or my grandfather’s recipes. I’m told that he was a great cook, but no one learned his recipes before he passed.

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As an adult, I noticed that I immediately gravitate towards anything labeled Hokkien or Fujian (my grandfather’s province). If Hokkien xyz is on a menu, I’m ordering it. I guess it’s my way of learning more about my grandfather’s culture now that he’s not around.

One day while at the Asian market I saw a big pack of instant noodles that said “Fujian” on the label. I had no idea what it was because the rest of the label was in Chinese characters, but I bought it. Crazy, right? I had no idea what I was buying, but just because it had my grandfather’s province name on it, I bought it…and I cooked it…and I gave it to my kids…and they loved it!

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Even though I couldn’t read the labels, I was easily able to figure out the ingredients just by tasting the packets included with the noodles (there were no flavored powders, if you were wondering) – soy sauce, sesame oil, chives, chili oil (which I don’t add to my girls’ servings) and the mildest peanut butter I’ve ever tasted. It was so mild that I could barely tell it was peanut butter.

The problem was, I had no idea what it was called. I googled around “Fujian noodles” and came up with Hokkien mee, which I was familiar with and knew this wasn’t. My Taiwanese friend told me about a dish her mom makes that they call dan dan mien. Googling it brought up a completely different dish (a spicy pork noodle), but what she described was a lot closer to what I was looking for.

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Then one day, I found it. Ban mian – Fujian street noodles. Street food is always simple but delicious, and that’s what these noodles are. They’re super quick to throw together, so they make an awesome weeknight meal. I’ve switched out the peanut butter for sesame paste (can easily be found in Asian stores or you can use tahini) and the soy for coconut aminos. The coconut aminos add a bit of sweetness that makes this dish even yummier than the original (granted, the original was instant :P).

Don’t have a spiralizer? Try the sauce with your favorite noodles or even my almond flour pasta!

Sesame Ban Mian with Zoodles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Chinese, Paleo, Gluten Free
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • ¼ cup sesame paste or tahini
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos*
  • salt to taste (about 1-2 tsp)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • green onion, sliced thinly
  • hot sauce or chili oil (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the sesame paste, sesame oil, vinegar, coconut aminos, salt, garlic and hot sauce (if using) in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Spiralize or julienne peel the zucchini into "noodles"
  3. Place zucchini noodles in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until al dente in texture, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour sesame sauce over noodles and garnish with green onion.
Notes
*liquid aminos or tamari can be used in place of the coconut aminos and salt

Do you have any recipes from your ancestors? I love to hear how heritage can be passed down through food.  

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So I’m guessing you like noodles…

A healthy, simple and delicious side dish for any Asian meal.   A rich, hearty "noodle" meal that's meat free, heart healthy and delicious. Zoodles are so last year. Get on board with celeriac! Gluten free, grain free, vegetarian

Pasta made of almond flour? Tastes awesome and is just as easy to whip together as traditional homemade pasta. (gluten free, grain free)   These grain free dumpling wrappers will change your world. Use them to fry up some Pork and Mushroom Potstickers for Chinese New Year!

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8 Comments

  1. Ahhh glad to know more about you! I feel the same and can relate with your story. Thankfully, mom is still around showing and sharing Hakka recipes. This sesame zoodles looks so comforting and perfect for Spring! And have you tried Fujian fried rice? It’s one of my faves too.
    Linda | Brunch with Joy recently posted…Matcha Strawberry Cake #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • I love Fujian fried rice! I haven’t learned to make that yet, but it’s on my list of things to figure out. 🙂

  2. I’m so happy you are connecting to the other half of your cultural heritage through food! I’m definitely not Chinese…but we have loved stuffing our faces with Chinese noodles while living in the Sichuan Province for the past two years! Thank you for sharing this lighter version of what appears to be a delicious dish…and for linking up at #FoodieFriDIY!

    • It must be amazing living in a different country and being able to immerse yourself in the different culture and cuisine. I always fee a bit like an outsider looking in when it comes to Chinese food, but I’m hoping to change that…eventually. 🙂

  3. I love old recipes passed down and I think it’s great that you are tracking down recipes from your cultural heritage! These look absolutely amazing and I do have a spiralizer so I am excited to try them! Thank you for sharing them with us at #FoodieFriDIY!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Top 10 Lessons to Learn When You Start a New Blog (No Matter What Niche)My Profile

    • I’m always a little jealous when I hear of people using recipes that were passed down through generations, but hopefully I can cobble together some recipes of my own that are close. 🙂

  4. Looks like it tastes great!

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