1pound Chinese egg noodles (1/8-inch-thick), frozen or (preferably) fresh, available in Asian markets
2tablespoons sesame oil, plus a splash
3 ½tablespoons soy sauce
2tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
2tablespoons Chinese sesame paste
1tablespoon smooth peanut butter
1tablespoon finely grated ginger
2teaspoons minced garlic
2teaspoons chili-garlic paste, or to taste
Half a cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/8-inch by 1/8-inch by 2-inch sticks
¼cup chopped roasted peanuts
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until barely tender, about 5 minutes; they should retain a hint of chewiness. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and toss with a splash of sesame oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame paste, peanut butter, sugar, ginger, garlic and chili-garlic paste.
Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish with cucumber and peanuts.
The Chinese sesame paste called for here is made of toasted sesame seeds; it is not the same as tahini, the Middle Eastern paste made of plain, untoasted sesame. But you could use tahini in a pinch. You need only add a little toasted sesame oil to compensate for flavor, and perhaps some peanut butter to keep the sauce emulsified.