In a hot summer day, something refreshing is the way to go. Cold noodles are popular around Asia and depending on the country and region, they are prepared differently. Various noodle types, toppings and sauce are assembled together to create the ultimate refreshing meal! In Korea, cold noodles are called Naengmyeon where traditionally, buckwheat noodles are served in a stainless-steel bowl with an iced broth, cucumbers, pickled radish, boiled egg and or beef. In Japan, soba noodles are topped with green onions and dried seaweeds, severed separately with a dipping sauce. Mien tron, the Vietnamese take on cold noodles, uses glass noodles as the base and are stirred in with coriander, sweet onions, carrots and shrimps. In China, there are numerous delicious version of cold noodles. The famous ones are Liangpi from Shanxi, sesame cold noodles from Beijing, pulled-chicken spicy cold noodles from Sichuan and so on.
In the picture is the Shanghainese cold noodle. Its unique flavor lies in the sauce which is a mix of black vinegar (from Zhenjiang), peanut butter, sesame oil and a dash of chili oil. The richness of peanut butter and sesame oil is perfectly balanced with vinegar, giving off a refreshing yet satisfying taste. The smell of the sauce is also a killer! If you ever visit Shanghai during the summer, you will definitely be able to identify a store who sells Shanghainese cold noodle from its delicious aroma. The noodles are typically steamed which emphasize the al dente texture. So, are you drooling now? Do you want to make them yourself?
- 2 cup noodles, preferably steamed noodles
- 1 chicken or pork fillet
- 1 green pepper
- bean sprouts
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 2 tablespoon black vinegar (Zhenjiang)
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili oil (optional)
- 2 teaspoon warm water
- Steam the noodles for 10 minutes and then cook them in boiling water. Once the noodles are cooked, drain them and then rinse them over cold water. Drain them again. Toss them with 1 teaspoon sesame oil to avoid sticking.
- Cook the chicken or pork fillet. Pull them part after cooked. Set them aside.
- Stir fry the sliced green pepper and bean sprouts until cooked. Season them if desired. Set them aside.
- For the peanut butter sauce, whisk together peanut butter and warm water until smooth.
- When serving, top the noodles with cooked meat, vegetables, the peanut butter sauce, black vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and chili oil. Enjoy!
- If steaming noodles is not possible, you can also just boil them.
- Rinsing the noodles over cold water gives the al dente texture. Also makes them cold.
- A smoother peanut butter sauce would be whisking peanut butter and sesame oil. Ultra creamy! To make it more Shanghai style, you can add a teaspoon of sugar into the peanut butter sauce while whisking.
- Black vinegar from Zhenjiang has the unique smell and is present in every household in Shanghai! Balsamic vinegar does not quite do the trick.
- Topping can vary based on personal preference. In the image, I topped mine Shanghainese cold noodle with sliced cucumber and sliced omelet.
- Best served in an air conditioned room haha