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Cold Sesame-Peanut Noodles with Pickled Cucumber + Green Beans

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Vegetarian
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Why we love it:

Use natural or “regular” peanut butter, whichever you always have on hand - it doesn’t matter too much. If you use the regular kind don’t add any other sweetener, but if you use natural, you might consider a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. The sauce will last for weeks in the fridge, so we always make a double batch! It’s great drizzled on anything roasted or grilled and even whisked with more vinegar into a quick salad dressing.


  • 12 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 2 Carrots
  • 12 pound Green Beans
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley
  • 1 package Udon Noodles (or soba, Chinese egg noodles, even spaghetti)
  • 14 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Lime (zested and juiced)
  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (we love tamari)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil (toasted)
  • 12 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 12 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 12 teaspoon Sriracha (or more, to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon White Sesame Seeds
  • 4 Tablespoons Chopped Peanuts (optional, for garnish)

Cooking Instructions

  • 2. PICKLES

    In a small pot, combine the rice vinegar, water, sugar, and ½ of the salt. Bring it to a boil over high heat, stir the bottom of the pan a few times to make sure the sugar and salt dissolve.

    While it’s heating up, slice the cucumber in to thin, even slices, about ¼-⅓” thick.

    As soon as the liquid is boiling, turn off the heat, and add the cucumber slices. Press them down to get as many as you can completely submerged.


    Use the large holes on a box grater to grate the carrots. If you wash them first, there’s no need to peel them. Place in a bowl.

    Trim the stem end off the green beans, then slice them in ½ on a diagonal. Set aside in a bowl.

    Chop up some parsley.

  • 4. NOODLES

    When the water is boiling, add the other ½of the salt. Add the noodles and stir.

    After about 5 minutes, add the green beans to the boiling water too.

    Continue cooking until the noodles are al dente, following package instructions (typically, about 8 - 10 minutes). Drain in a colander.

  • 5. SAUCE

    In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. That’s the: peanut butter, lime zest and juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, and ground ginger. Add sriracha, whisk and taste it. Add more if you like it spicier.

    Use a measuring spoon to lift 1 - 2 Tablespoons of the pickling liquid out of the pot and whisk it in to the sauce. Start with less, and taste. You can add more if you like the sauce tangier.

    The sauce will be thick, but it should still drip off of a spoon. If it’s too thick, whisk in a tablespoon of water.

  • 6. TOSS

    Add the noodles to the sauce. Toss gently, but thoroughly to fully coat all of the strands. Add in the carrots and parsley.

  • 7. SERVING

    Plate in big, shallow bowls. Garnish each with some of the cucumber quick-pickles, sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, and more sriracha to taste.

    Any leftover pickles can be stored for a month in the fridge! If you were careful to only put clean utensils in the pickle liquid (i.e. not your fingers, and not a fork that went into your mouth and back into the pickles) you can add more veggies to this same liquid. More cucumbers, sliced carrots, asparagus, green beans, sliced jalapeños, cauliflower florets, etc. They’ll turn pickled overnight.

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    use rice noodles, a lentil based pasta, or other GF noodle of choice. Be sure to use GF tamari
    use tahini (sesame paste) instead of the peanut butter. Also delicious, almond butter or cashew butter. If you’re completely nut and sesame free, sun butter works just fine! Don’t garnish with peanuts
    serve this with grilled shrimp or salmon, halibut, snapper, cod. It’s very complementary to most fish
    udon are a nice size but soba, fresh Chinese egg noodles, rice noodles, and even regular old spaghetti all work well too. There’s really no limit here
    if you have some, grating in fresh garlic and ginger are a nice touch
  • ADD ONS:
    more veggies: try sliced red cabbage, roasted broccoli or cauliflower, roasted yams, seared tofu or tempeh, strips of bell pepper

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make the pickles up to 3 days in advance
  2. Stir together the peanut sauce
  3. The fully prepared noodles hold up well tossed in the sauce overnight but will start to get a little thick after more than 1 day
Rate this recipe:
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