International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Liang Mian

Liang Mian (Chinese cold sesame noodles)

(Chinese cold sesame noodles)

Image by stuart_spivak

Average: 4.8 (12 votes)

Simple, bold and refreshing, a cool bowl of Chinese sesame noodles (麻醬麵, or liang mian) are the perfect foil for a hot, muggy day.

This noodle dish originated in the Szechuan countryside. It comes together in a snap and tastes great. A Taiwanese version, called ma jiang mian, has a sauce that is a little soupier.

4 servings


  • Chinese egg noodles -- 1 pound
  • Tahini -- 1/4 cup
  • Chicken stock or water -- 1/4 cup
  • Soy sauce -- 1/4 cup
  • Rice wine vinegar -- 3 tablespoons
  • Sesame oil -- 2 tablespoons
  • Sugar -- 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Scallions, thinly sliced -- 3 or 4


  1. Cook the egg noodles according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cool water and drain again. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini and stock or water until smooth. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt, pepper and half the scallions and stir together to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Add the cooked noodles and toss them to coat with the sauce. Portion the noodles into serving bowls, sprinkle with the remaining scallions and serve.

Liang Mian Variations

  • All kinds of ingredients can be added to your noodles to turn them into a full meal. Try cooked and chopped chicken, pork or ham. Or use tofu. For vegetables, toss in some cooked asparagus, green beans, broccoli or bell peppers. Or stir in some shredded carrot, mung bean sprouts, thinly sliced cucumber or chopped cilantro.
  • For an extra boost of flavor, stir in 1 or 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic or minced gingerroot. For spicy heat, add some red pepper flakes.
  • Kid-friendlify it: Substitute smooth or chunky peanut butter for the tahini.
  • In addition to the chopped scallions, chopped roasted peanuts or sesame seeds make good garnishes.
  • Eliminate the chicken stock or water for a thicker sauce.


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