You can make this noodle salad up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill. For best flavor, bring to room temperature before serving.
12 ounces dried soba (Japanese buckwheat) noodles, dried Asian wheat noodles, or angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 red bell pepper (8 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin, short slivers
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
How to Make It
In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 1/2 to 3 quarts water to a boil. Add noodles, stir to separate, and cook until just tender to bite, 3 to 7 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water. If desired, cut noodles into shorter lengths for easier serving. Rinse and dry pan.
In the same pan, over medium heat, stir sesame seeds in oil until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cayenne; stir until blended. Add noodles and mix until well coated. Add bell pepper, carrots, and green onions; mix gently. Add salt to taste. Mound in a serving dish.