…And a fried egg. The fried egg (or soft boiled egg) is really an important part of this Sesame Noodles with Wilted Greens dish, but it just seemed like including it in the title would make it excessively long. But I suppose crispy tofu or any roasted meat would work just as well as an egg. But anyway.
I’m really into simple food. It’s easy to prepare, you can taste the nuances of the ingredients, and it just doesn’t take a lot of mental energy. This one is nothing more than a bowl full of lightly seasoned pasta, spinach (or any other green) quickly wilted in a skillet with a little garlic, salt, and pepper, and an egg for extra protein and that luxuriously silky yolk. 🙌 #yolklove
Can I Use Different Noodles?
I used whole wheat pasta not only for the extra fiber and nutrients, but also because the nutty flavor goes so very well with the sesame sauce. Soba, or buckwheat noodles, would also be great for this dish, but they tend to be a bit more expensive than whole wheat spaghetti (unless you have access to a great Asian market).
Can I Use Different Greens?
I happened to have a huge bag of spinach that I bought for smoothies that was wilting faster than expected, so I used half the bag (8oz.) for these bowls. You could use any variety of other greens, though, like bok choy, kale, or even something like baby broccoli. Customize! :)
How Do You Store Sesame Noodles with Wilted Greens?
You can store the noodles and greens together in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for about four days, but you’ll want to cook the egg fresh each day. I would just reheat the noodles and greens in the microwave as I cook the egg. If you plan to take this meal to work, you can substitute the fried egg with a hard boiled egg.
What Else Can I Add?
This simple bowl is a great starting place for a lot of fun variations. Try adding some Honey Sriracha Tofu, avocado, edamame, shredded carrot, or maybe some Sticky Ginger Soy Glazed Chicken.
Sesame Noodles with Wilted Greens
- 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce ($0.20)
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.33)
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar ($0.11)
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.04)
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds ($0.08)
- pinch red pepper flakes (optional) ($0.02)
- 8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti ($0.75)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
- 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
- 8 oz. fresh spinach ($2.00)
- salt and pepper to taste ($0.05)
- 4 large eggs ($1.10)
- Begin by preparing the sesame sauce so the flavors have time to mingle. Mince the clove of garlic, then combine it with the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame seeds, and red pepper in a small bowl. Set the sauce aside.
- Begin to boil a large pot of water to cook the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to cook until the pasta is tender. Drain the pasta in a colander, then return it to the pot with the heat turned off. Pour the sesame sauce over the pasta, stir to combine, then place a lid on the pot to keep it warm until ready to serve. The pasta will continue to absorb the sauce as it sits.
- While the pasta is boiling, prepare the wilted greens. Mince the clove of garlic and add it to a large skillet along with the olive oil. Sauté the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic is fragrant and has softened slightly. Add the spinach and continue to sauté just until it has wilted. The spinach should still be bright green and look slightly plump. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
- Prepare the eggs using your favorite method; fried sunny side up, over hard, poached, scrambled, or soft boiled.
- Give the spaghetti a good stir to redistribute the sesame sauce, then divide between four bowls. Add a scoop of the wilted greens to each bowl, then top with an egg and serve.
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How to Make Sesame Noodles with Wilted Greens – Step by Step Photos
Start by making the sesame dressing so the flavors have time to meld a bit. Mince one clove of garlic and combine it with 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional). Set the dressing aside.
It’s really important to use toasted sesame oil for this dressing because it has a SUPER nutty flavor that you don’t get from regular sesame oil. It can be a bit tricky, though, because the label on the bottle might not specifically say “toasted”. So how do you tell the difference? TOASTED sesame oil has a dark brown color and is usually sold in smaller bottles, whereas regular sesame oil has a light straw color (like vegetable or canola oil). Toasted sesame oil can be found in most major grocery stores in the International foods aisle. It may seem expensive, but a little bit goes a long way, so that bottle will last a while!
Begin boiling a large pot of water for the pasta. Once boiling, add 8oz. of whole wheat spaghetti and continue to boil until the pasta is tender. I really like whole wheat spaghetti for this recipe because it has a nutty flavor and gives the dish more texture.
While the pasta is boiling, prepare the wilted greens. Mince another clove of garlic and add it to a large skillet along with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the garlic for a minute or so over medium heat, just to soften it a bit and take the raw edge off. Then add 8oz. of fresh spinach (or another green) and sauté just until it’s wilted, but still kind of plump. This happens quickly. Season with salt and pepper, then remove the greens from the heat.
Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it in a colander, then return it to the pot with the heat turned off. Pour the sesame dressing over top and stir to combine.
Place the lid on the pot to keep the pasta warm. The pasta will continue to absorb the dressing as it sits.
Cook four eggs however you like–I think a runny yolk works extra well with this dish. I fried mine sunny side up, but soft boiling is another good option. If you’re not into runny yolks, scrambling works too! :) Stir the noodles once again to redistribute the dressing, then divide the noodles between four bowls. Add a scoop of the wilted greens to each, then top with a cooked egg. Now, dive in! :)
I make this often but would make it weekly if my husband would let me. I love it! Thank you for this delicious and easy meal!
I pan-fried some rehydrated shiitake mushrooms for this and added the mushroom water to the sauce – for a double recipe it was about a cup of extra liquid and the noodles just sucked it all up!
I added about a tablespoon of sriracha to my doubled sauce which made it mildly spicy, but overall I found the end result fairly simplistic flavour-wise. I think that I would like to try adding some peanut butter or something to make it more interesting.
I found this a bit salty, so would recommend Not salting the pasta water and also holding back on the soy sauce by perhaps a tablespoon.
Just want to express my gratitude for this recipe – I make it for myself when I want something special, and it’s easy and healthy but always feels like a treat. Thank you Beth!
Beth, Where did you get the 3-tine fork? We had one and it broke, and we can’t find a nice one now out of any material. Wood or plastic would be preferable. Unless you know what else to use to “fluff with fork” and not damage our non-stick pans. Thanks for all the great recipes.
Hi Joleen! Unfortunately, I don’t remember where I got that, but I think it was just a simple set of wooden utensils that I picked up in a grocery store on a whim. :P
I didn’t think I’d like fresh spinach like this but the photo instructions were really helpful, it was delicious.