Sichuan Pesto Noodles

Saeng Douangdara

by Saeng Douangdara

Published: Oct 28, 2022

Sichuan Pesto Noodles

There are lots of ways to add spice to your meals, but when we’re looking for something really special, we turn to Sichuan peppercorns. These peppers bring a unique herbal spice with a gentle numbing effect to the lips and tongue. You’ve probably encountered them in Chinese food dishes like Sichuan Chicken, and they’re also surprisingly great to add depth to a sweet dish, like Chocolate Brioche. Paired with a few other unexpected ingredients, these peppercorns add new intrigue to the old standby of pesto and pasta.

A little goes a long way, particularly in this recipe. Make sure to grind the peppercorns into a fine powder before adding them to the other ingredients so the flavor is equally distributed and can shine among the other ingredients in the pesto. Thai basil is worth seeking out, as its anise-forward, peppery profile pairs well with soy sauce and sesame oil. If you’re unsure of how you’ll handle the spice, make sure to garnish with plenty of Parmesan to mellow the heat ;)



Prep time:

15 mins

Total time:

15 mins


1/2 c. unsalted roasted almonds
1 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorns, ground in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder

4 c. fresh basil
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. white or black pepper
4 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2/3 c. vegetable oil
Kosher salt
1 lb. Chinese egg noodles, fresh or dried
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


Step 1
In a food processor, blend almonds, ground Sichuan peppercorns, basil, garlic, and pepper until finely ground.

Step 2
Add soy sauce and sesame oil and, while the machine is running, drizzle in vegetable oil.

Step 3
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until al dente, about 3 minutes for fresh and 6 to 8 minutes for dried. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining, and transfer noodles to a large bowl.

Step 4
Add ¾ cup pesto to bowl and toss until combined. Add ¼ cup reserved pasta water and toss, adding more as needed to help coat noodles.

Step 5
Garnish with toasted sesame seeds before serving.
This pesto is great to make ahead of time for a quick and easy dinner. It will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer.

Contributing Recipe Developer

Saeng Douangdara is a personal chef and cooking instructor based in LA; he currently develops on recipes, and hosts Tasty’s web series “Smelly Good” showcasing funky ingredients and transforming them into delightful dishes. Whenever he’s out of the kitchen, he’s searching for mouthwatering spicy foods because he lives by the mantra “NO HEAT, NO EAT”.

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