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 peanut butter, sesame oil, black vinegar (from Zhenjiang), soy sauce, and a dash of chilli 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. And then cooled down using a fan. So, are you drooling now? Do you want to make them yourself?
- 100g noodles (one serving)
- 6cm of cucumber
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1/4 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon black vinegar (Zhenjiang)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon chilli oil (optional)
- For the toppings, the simple ones are with sliced cucumber and sliced omelet. For the omelet, beat the egg and cook them in a pan. Salt and pepper to taste. After the omelet is cooked, sliced the omelet into egg strips. Set aside.
- For the peanut butter sauce, whisk together peanut butter and sesame oil until smooth and runny like maple syrup. If it is not runny enough, add more sesame oil. A runny sauce binds with the noodles better.
- Mix the black vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and chilli oil.
- Boiled the noodles. Rinse the noodles over cold water. Drain them.
- When serving, top the noodles with the sauces and the slices.
- The topping varies a lot. The typical ones are with stir fried chicken and green bell pepper; bean sprouts; shiitake gluten (面筋) . You can also get creative! The other day I topped the noodles with Sichuan eggplants.