We’re loving vegan YouTube star Lauren Toyota’s new collection of comfort food recipes sure to rejuvenate your plant-based cooking repertoire. If you’re craving the vegan version of just about anything, Toyota has a recipe for you. These cucumber chile noodles are a dish best served cold.
I tend to add megaflavor to everything I cook, but in this dish I embrace the minimalist trend and really like the simplicity of green onions with spice, sesame, salt, and refreshing crunchy cucumber. It was inspired by something I ate a couple of years ago at Xi’an Famous Foods in Brooklyn. A friend claimed this menu item, known as A-1, was her favorite thing ever, which I mistook for hyperbole. But I was curious. Well, after ordering it and taking one bite, I was in love and certainly wasn’t prepared for a long-distance relationship with this noodle dish so I made my own version!
- 1 pound thick flat rice noodles
- 2 English cucumbers
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, finely sliced diagonally
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons chile oil
For the noodles
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If your rice noodles already contain salt, do not add salt to the water. Cook the noodles until al dente, approximately 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the cucumber into ribbons using a vegetable peeler or slice very thin using a mandolin.
Drain the noodles, rinse under cool water, and place in a large bowl. Toss with the cucumber ribbons, green onions, sesame oil, sesame seeds (reserving 1 teaspoon for garnish), and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt (more to taste, if necessary). Divide among serving plates.
Drizzle each portion with 1 tablespoon of the chile oil (or use more sesame oil if you don’t want spice) and garnish with the remaining sesame seeds. You can also toss the noodles in only the sesame oil, salt, and sesame seeds, leaving the cucumber ribbons and green onions to place on top of the noodles in each serving. I think this looks prettier!
If you have leftovers, soften the noodles by heating them with a bit of water in a covered pan or heat in a microwave. Drain any excess water before serving.