Sesame Noodles with Chicken

I’ll admit I’m not the main cook in our family – thanks, Steve! – but I do have a few dishes that I rely on to get a good, healthy meal on the table, and this is one of them. Our whole family loves the taste of this take on Chinese sesame noodles, and I love that you can pack it full of veggies that the kids will eat.  Since it can be served cold, it’s also a good meal to make ahead for hectic weeknights.


For the noodles:

  • 5 medium carrots
  • 1.5 bundles buckwheat noodles
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 stalks green onions
  • 1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken meat

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini, peanut butter, sunflower butter or a combination of these
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger powder
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp chili paste (I leave this on the side, when cooking for the kids)


  • Boil the chicken until cooked. Cool and shred
  • Shred carrots to similar width as noodles using mandolin or food processor.  Boil until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Slice cucumbers into thick strips with a mandolin or knife.
  • Slice green onions into long strips with a knife.  Place in the bottom of a colander or sieve.
  • Boil noodles according to instructions.  Drain in a colander over the green onions, to soften the green onions.
  • Mix all the above in a large bowl and then prepare the sauce (see below)

Here are the ingredients (sans chicken), waiting to be mixed:

Recipe for sesame noodles full of vegetables!  {Jewels at Home}

Sesame noodles full of vegetables!

Mix the ingredients for the sauce together and then stir into the noodle mixture.  You can serve this dish hot, cold, or anywhere in-between.

Asian sesame noodle recipe with lots of veggies the kids will eat! {Jewels at Home}

Asian sesame noodle recipe with lots of veggies the kids will eat!

H0pe you enjoy this addition to your family’s menu!



Jewel-Toned Antiques

I was running errands in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco when I came across a unique and stunning boutique called Forgotten Shanghai.

Forgotten Shanghai logo

Amazing and unique store in SF. Click the logo to go to their website.

Their showroom is packed with furniture and decor items that range from Chinese antiques to modern designs with an Asian feel.  There are lots of treasures to browse, and I could have spent hours there, if I didn’t have two kids in tow who were on the verge of becoming the proverbial bulls in the china shop (haha!).

The products that caught my eye the most were the wooden chests and screens that were painted in blue and green jewel tones:

forgotten shanghai boxes

Media and File boxes in gorgeous colors. Click the picture for the product website.

Lacquered wooden screens in a range of fresh colors. Click the picture for the product website.

Tragically, at several hundred dollars a piece, their prices exceeded my budget.  I kept thinking about them, though.  I love adding Asian elements to my home – the classic lines are elegant and complement the Arts and Crafts pieces we have.  And with the fresh blue and green lacquer, these classic forms feel contemporary.  Luckily for me, I had a couple of pieces at home that I could make over to get the same look.

Painted wooden chest

I picked up this solid wood cedar chest off craigslist for $99 a few years ago from a woman who used it for staging homes.  It is stamped inside with “Wills Cabinet Shop Somerset, PA,” which looks like it is sadly no longer around.

chest before

Before: Cedar chest bought off craigslist.

Regular spray paint comes in limited colors.  I had a false start painting with a really unfortunate electric blue from the craft store.  If you don’t find the color you are looking for at the hardware store or regular craft store, I would recommend Montana Spray Paints, which are artists’ paints.  I found this color, Fjordonline, but I later discovered that Aaron Brothers carries Montana paints.  After sanding, priming, and painting, I added several layers of a glossy clear coat.  This really helps give a finished look as well as prevent any color from rubbing off on walls, etc..

painted teal chest

After: chest painted in Montana Fjord with a glossy finish.

Window screen

Another great find was this Chinese wooden window screen that I found at a consignment store for just $65!  Similar screens usually cost several hundred from a knowledgeable seller.  I was torn about painting it, as it always feels a little “wrong” to paint good quality wood.  In the end, I went ahead, thinking that I really needed something to brighten up our living room, which already has a lot of wood on the floors and in the larger furniture pieces.  The paint color is “Swept Away” by Benjamin Moore.  I had it leftover from painting our kids’ bath.  Again, I finished it with several coats of a clear finish to seal it.

Painted screen

Chinese wooden window screen painted in pale blue "Swept Away" by Benjamin Moore.

I’m so happy with how my Forgotten Shanghai copy-cats turned out! I’m especially excited that I make them from things I already had around the house. I have one more screen that is left-over from a carpentry job that I am thinking of painting in a glossy black for the foyer. I’ll post a picture when it’s done!