Friday, April 8, 2011


Black sesame dan dan noodles, roasted asparagus

Black sesame dan dan noodes, roasted asparagus.

For the life of me I cannot find sesame paste. Before you run to the googles, I have followed many many links, and they all lead to tahini - which isn't the same thing as the sesame paste used in Chinese cooking. Tahini is made from unroasted seeds, Chinese sesame paste from roasted seeds; the taste difference is huge.

So I whizzed black sesame seeds and roasted sesame oil in the Magic Bullet, and got not-quite-a-paste - it's fine particles suspended in oil. Maybe the Cuisinart would do a better job, but I'd need to make a big batch, which would use up all my sesame seeds (and what do I do if all my sesame seeds aren't enough?)

Anyway though - it's still good! It's just not the real deal.

This batch of dan dan sauce had a higher ratio of chile heat to Szechuan peppercorn, unintentionally - I'll add more Szechuan peppercorns to the sauce before using it up. Speaking of which, a trick if you don't like getting little Szechuan peppercorn husks adhering to your tongue and the roof of your mouth like little suction cups: after grinding the peppercorns, sift them through a strainer.

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