These cold, refreshing sesame noodles are a sweeter cousin of the more fiery dan dan noodles — and a great way to use up leftover chicken meat. They use the same essential seasonings in different proportions, but the heat of these noodles is tempered with sugar, garlic, bean sprouts and white chicken.
Adapted from Fuchsia Dunlop's Land of Plenty:
1. Cook 1 pound of fresh Chinese flour-and-water noodles 2-3 minutes until just al dente. Drain and rinse them with hot water, shake them in a colander and spread them out on a dish towel to dry. Sprinkle a bit of peanut oil over the noodles and mix it in with chopsticks to prevent them from sticking together.
2. Meanwhile, blanch the bean sprouts for a few minutes in boiling water, then refresh in cold water and drain well. Whack a leftover cooked chicken breast with a pestle or rolling pin to loosen the fibers, then tear into little slivers. Peel 3-4 cloves of garlic and squash them with the pestle. Thinly slice four scallions.
3. Now combine the following: 2 T. sesame paste, 1 1/2 T. dark soy sauce, 1/2 T. light soy sauce, 1 1/2 T. Chinkiang black vinegar, 2 T. chilli oil, 1 T. sesame oil, 1/2 T. sugar, 1/2 tsp. ground roasted Sichuan pepper, and the crushed garlic cloves.
4. When the noodles and bean sprouts are completely cool, pile the bean sprouts at the bottom of several serving bowls. Add the noodles, pour the seasonings on top, and top each bowl with a pile of chicken slivers and a scattering of scallions. Allow your guests to toss everything together at the table.