Just over two years ago Brandon and I took a trip to Asia. We had three friends overseas that were sort of dotted all over that general area. It made for one of those “we better take advantage of this now” type trips, knowing they wouldn’t all be there forever. We were scattered across the continent for three weeks total- first in Tokyo, then Vietnam, and finally, Singapore. We met up with our first friend in Tokyo, where he had been living for the summer, then met up with our other friends in Singapore (where they were both calling home at the time), all headed to Vietnam for an epic exploration, and rounded out the trip with a solid stay in Singapore. There are some photos from our travels buried deep in the CC archives- here and here.

Last year we made it to Italy, and in a few weeks I’m off to Mexico for a long weekend, but I’m really hankering for a substantial stint far away. Thailand and Cambodia are at the top of my list, with an extended stay in Japan coming in second. Then of course there’s always Greece, Croatia, more time in Paris, etc! The list goes on…


As much as I long to explore more of Asia, my ability to cook Asian food does not go along with that. But I do have one recipe down pat. Granted it’s probably the most Americanized version of Chinese food you can get, but this is my style of ethnic cooking folks. Candidly my devotion to the dish probably has more to do with my love of peanut butter rather than my desire to make more ethnic food. Let’s be real…

Is there anywhere you’re longing to travel to right now?

Ps: The first sesame noodles recipe on this blog… my how my photos changed! Ok- need to do a new post on photo techniques. On it, friends!


Sweet & Spicy Sesame Noodles with Rainbow Veggies adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 3/4 lb spaghetti (regular or whole wheat will work)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced bell pepper (I used a mix of red and yellow, but feel free to use red, yellow, or orange)
  • ribbons from 2 large or 3 medium carrots
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 3/4 chopped scallions (green and light green parts only)
  • extra scallions and sesame seeds for garnish

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon peeled grated fresh ginger
  • 1 medium garlic clove, grated
  • 2-3 tablespoons rice vinegar (I like mine a little tangier)
  • 1 tablespoon Asian toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes or Sriracha

Cook spaghetti until just al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to bring to room temp.

While the spaghetti is cooking, prep your vegetables and whisk together all ingredients of the sauce. If the sauce feels pretty thick, add a little more water. If you want it sweet- add more honey, saltier- add more soy sauce. You get the picture. Feel free to make the sauce a few days ahead and just bring to room temp when ready to serve.

Place the noodles, vegetables, and sauce in a large bowl. Toss well to combine. Serve at room temp topped with sesame seeds and extra scallions.

  1. Mmmm these look so yummy! My travel list sounds about like yours….we went to Santorini and Paris last year and it was so heavenly that I’m dying to go back! But I’m also dying to go to Italy, Australia, Switzerland, somewhere tropical…..basically, I just want a vacation! haha

    • Clara

      Ugh Italy… you can never have enough time there, seriously!

  2. My boyfriend the avid traveler is overseas right now enjoying Oktoberfest and venturing into other European countries in the vicinity - and man, it makes me want to pick up and go somewhere! He and I went to Thailand for 2 weeks a few years ago and loved (most of) it, but if I could pick any destination, I’d love to visit Germany or Spain, and maybe even venture back to Paris and/or Rome. Can’t wait for that post on photo techniques!

    • Clara

      I love Spain! We went a few years back and spent time in Madrid and the southern portion of the country. The food is of course so good :)

  3. Oh, so beautiful! I just might be serving this for dinner tonight!

  4. This dish looks so vibrant and flavorful! I am in desperate need of a long trip and will plan something for next spring. I’ve got my eye on Thailand too!

  5. I’ve been meaning to mention - your photos have looked extra amazing lately! I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing differently.

    • Clara

      Thanks, Sarah! It’s largely trial and error, but I think I have a few things I can clarify for folks.

  6. I studied abroad in Denmark and am absolutely dying to go back for a few weeks in the summer. But I know what you mean about feeling torn between locations. I’d love to go back to England (and this time to Oxford, Bath, etc) and my ultimate dream is to explore New Zealand. So much to see!

  7. This looks delicious!

  8. nicole

    I made this last night! I’m a peanut butter nut (no pun intended) so I was worried about comingling it other flavor but it was so delicious. I can definitely see it becoming a dish in regualr rotation. Thanks for sharing. :)

  9. Must make this week. I. love throwing sesame seeds on noodles and stir fry! Plus, I managed. to find some peanut butter from The Peanut Butter and Co in our part of the world! Wanted to use that in something other than a sandwich.

  10. Pingback: Menu Plan: Week of October 12th | Origins of the Cook

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