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Suggestions for cold, asian style, noodles?

SJason Jun 26, 2014 12:44 PM

I'm looking for great cold, summer noodle dishes. The dish should include some kind of vegetable and protein and pickled vegetables are definitely a bonus. My favorite were the cold noodles at Ittyo, in the Porter Square mall. The noodles had a light miso/sesame/ginger (not exactly sure what it was) dressing and a variety of vegetables and meats on top. Unfortunately, the place changed hands a while back and the dish wasn't quite the same the last time I tried it. Do any of the newer ramen places have great cold noodles? Any other cuisines have memorable cold noodles?

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  1. m
    mvi RE: SJason Jun 26, 2014 01:12 PM

    Try Bon Me or Myers and Chang. I make my own most of the time, but these two places offer different versions of cold noodles with an Asian sauce. I was not as pleased with Bon Me, but I went in to their brick and mortar place in Kendall Square after their crazy lunch hour, and they all looked exhausted. Maybe it was just bad timing.

    Myers and Chang had a soba noodle dish- cold- that was delicious. I got some pickled treats on the side to give it an extra kick.

    1. digga RE: SJason Jun 26, 2014 03:04 PM

      There's a Korean cold noodle soup that you might like, called "nyaeng myun" that is usually offered only in the summertime. Noodles are normally buckwheat or glass noodle-style. Toppings will vary from veggies to slices of Asian pear, hard-boiled egg, and sometimes beef. The broth is cold and there will sometimes be ice cubes floating around in there. It is tangy and vinegary. I don't know who in Boston makes their own broth - I bet most will be made from an instant soup stock (lots of MSG, if you care about that sort of thing). It's one of my favorite dishes!

      1 Reply
      1. re: digga
        lossless RE: digga Jun 26, 2014 04:10 PM

        If you like naengmyun, try the yeolmu naengmyun at Buk Kyung in Somerville. It's got yeolmu kimchi in it - leafy radish. The cold and the spicy come together well. Might want to call ahead and make sure they are making it that day.

      2. l
        lossless RE: SJason Jun 26, 2014 04:11 PM

        I've enjoyed the cold-noodle appetizer at the recently opened Dumpling House on Mass Ave in Cambridge. Lots of cucumber, sesame seeds, spicy oil.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lossless
          KWagle RE: lossless Jun 26, 2014 09:58 PM

          Hmm, I've seen cucumber and jellyfish, but not cucumber and noodle. Interesting, I'll have to try it.

          1. re: lossless
            ararebit RE: lossless Jul 11, 2014 04:21 PM

            I just tried it! I liked the use of thick rice noodles. I think they may have replaced the sesame seeds with chopped peanuts today, but it was still good. Packs quite a garlic punch as well.

            1. re: ararebit
              lossless RE: ararebit Jul 11, 2014 04:50 PM

              I also had it again this past week and yes I too found chopped peanuts, not sesame seeds. For interested folks, here's a photo of it.

          2. l
            LilBrownBat RE: SJason Jun 26, 2014 07:24 PM

            I imagine you can find some decent bun at pretty much any Vietnamese place. Try Japanese restaurants for standards like zarusoba and somen.

            1. e
              Edokko RE: SJason Jun 26, 2014 08:38 PM

              I love Hiyashi Chuka, but I haven't found a good version around here. Fortunately, I can make a decent version using the frozen Chuka Zanmai Ryanmen packet (look for blue packaging that says "Sesame Vinegar Flavor"). These are available at Ebisu market in Medford. My usual toppings are cucumber, ham, and egg (omelette style), all julienned.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Edokko
                Allstonian RE: Edokko Jun 27, 2014 05:07 AM

                Have you tried Inaka in Allston? I had some there during that brutal heat wave last summer and it hit the spot, but I'd never had it before so I'm definitely no judge.

                1. re: Allstonian
                  Edokko RE: Allstonian Jun 27, 2014 09:21 AM

                  No, I haven't. Thanks for the tip.

                  1. re: Allstonian
                    Edokko RE: Allstonian Jun 28, 2014 10:36 AM

                    Alas, that was a disappointment. We went to Inaka for lunch today and ordered the Hiyashi Chuka, Shoyu Ramen, and Gyoza. The Achilles heel for both noodle dishes was the broth/sauce. The ramen broth was "watery" (lacked any meaty umami) and the HC sauce was a straight-up soy sauce and vinegar job that didn't have the sesame richness that I like. (Also, no hot mustard for the HC. But they get some points for having raw minced garlic available at the table for ramen.) And the chashu (roast pork) topping for both dishes was subpar--dry and unsavory. The gyoza was the lone bright spot--a decent balance between pork and vegetable in the filling, and robust skin.

                    So the search for that elusive Hiyashi Chuka ideal continues.

                  2. re: Edokko
                    Edokko RE: Edokko Jun 27, 2014 09:36 AM

                    And as much as I love Hiyashi Chuka, I hate Tokoroten! It's the other prominent cold noodle dish served in summer in Japan, extruded from seaweed-based jelly.

                  3. t
                    TimTamGirl RE: SJason Jun 27, 2014 06:50 AM

                    Fugu food truck does awesome cold spicy noodles with pork or chicken and sesame or peanuts. I always go for pork and sesame, and it is awesome: spicy, savoury, rich, and refreshing. Love love love.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: TimTamGirl
                      Edokko RE: TimTamGirl Jun 27, 2014 09:21 AM

                      Is this the "Hiyashi Chuka" on their menu? When I tried it, I found the sauce to be rather bland--not enough of a vinegar hit and no spicy hot mustard to mix in. I'm a curmudgeon, though, when it comes to Hiyashi Chuka--always harking back to childhood memories of it in Tokyo, where it was my favorite summer dish.

                      1. re: Edokko
                        TimTamGirl RE: Edokko Jun 27, 2014 10:11 AM

                        No, I think it's just called 'cold spicy noodles', but I can't 100% remember and it's not on the menu on their website. But I would assume it's still being served, as I've had it every time I've eaten from that truck over the last year or more, including as recently as a few weeks ago at SoWa.

                        The meat is ground, and the sesame pork version tastes a bit like tantanmen (but cold and brothless). It's not as spicy as I personally would like, but it's still got a good flavour, and a nice balance of crunch against the slippery noodles.

                    2. t
                      Taralli RE: SJason Jun 27, 2014 07:28 AM

                      Glass Noodle Salad, Toasted Peanuts, Chicken, Vegetables, Lime Chili Vinaigrette $8 at Shojo in CT.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Taralli
                        opinionatedchef RE: Taralli Jun 28, 2014 12:02 AM

                        just to clarify- CT can be Chinatown (Boston) or Connecticut. I figure you mean Chinatown but you might want to use a different abbreviation- for those who might be unfamiliar w/ Shojo. I've been wanting to try Shojo such a long time; this dish sounds delic.

                      2. e
                        Edokko RE: SJason Jun 27, 2014 09:28 AM

                        This may not be helpful, but if you ever go to Japan I recommend visiting a Nagashi (flowing) Somen joint. In these places, clumps of somen are periodically released down a water chute. You catch them with your chopsticks and dunk them into the dipping sauce augmented with your choice of condiments. It's a fun and refreshing activity, especially if you have kids. Google the Web for photos and videos, e.g., http://thelandoftherisingfun.blogspot....

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Edokko
                          teezeetoo RE: Edokko Jun 27, 2014 12:31 PM

                          I love JoJo Taipei's Cold Sesame Noodles. Spicy, simple, and yum.

                          1. re: teezeetoo
                            SJason RE: teezeetoo Jun 27, 2014 02:29 PM

                            I agree, those sesame noodles are really delicious but if I remember correctly, that dish is just noodles and sauce, no vegetables.

                            1. re: SJason
                              teezeetoo RE: SJason Jun 28, 2014 10:29 AM

                              yes, your right. no veggies.

                          2. re: Edokko
                            opinionatedchef RE: Edokko Jun 28, 2014 12:06 AM

                            that's hysterical! yet another food as theater!

                          3. opinionatedchef RE: SJason Jun 28, 2014 12:27 AM

                            s, the CH fave, Fuloon, in Malden (don't know if you have a car) has a new fav noodle dish for us, called Spicy Szechuan Beef Noodles which is not served cold but not really hot either, and it tastes delicious leftover and cold. Big platter of toothsome white vermicelli noodles and topped with spicy(not very) stir fried 'ground '/chopped beef mixture, and topped w/ scallions and peanuts. While i figure scallions don't qualify as the veggies you seek (duh), you can order a fantastic dish to accompany your noodles- Hot and Sour Chinese Cabbage. From my CH inquiries, it appears that this dish is unique to Fuloon. Sauce is brown Chunkiang vinegar and chicken stock; bok choy is both crunchy and silky. Entirely addictive and again, delic. eaten cold on a hot day! (Fuloon also serves a great big heap of delicous stir fried watercress, which i also haven't seen around much.)

                            I also read recently on some other CH thread that Mary Chung's Cold Sesame Noodles are made with sesame paste, which is diff from most (sesame oil) and a real plus for me.

                            1. l
                              lergnom RE: SJason Jun 28, 2014 08:22 AM

                              The cold sesame noodles (dan dan) at Sichuan Gourmet can be very good.

                              My favorite cold noodle is actually a take-out container of Gene's Flatbread Company's hand pulled noodles, brought home in my car and snarfed while cool. But in terms of chilled, they have Xian cold noodle salad - very good - and on weekends another cold noodle dish.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: lergnom
                                KWagle RE: lergnom Jul 1, 2014 12:33 AM

                                "Sichuan Gourmet" has several cold noodle dishes. I like the white noodles with Yibin preserved vegetable, and the Sichuan cold noodle, and probably a couple of others I've forgotten. Their dan dan noodles, however, are served hot, or at least warm.

                              2. s
                                saria RE: SJason Jun 28, 2014 01:07 PM

                                I have an addiction to Gene's cold noodles. Mild chili vinaigrette, some vegetables, and a tea egg. Delicious!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: saria
                                  greygarious RE: saria Jun 28, 2014 01:52 PM

                                  You mean the weekend only ones, right? If the Boston location isn't open on weekends, they can't be had until the Woburn location of Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe opens, presumably next month. Chelmsford's last day was 6/15.

                                  1. re: greygarious
                                    saria RE: greygarious Jun 28, 2014 05:03 PM

                                    No, the ones available daily. The tea egg provides protein.

                                2. jgg13 RE: SJason Jun 29, 2014 09:52 AM

                                  Today I was walking through the porter exchange and saw a sign inside sapporo declaring that they have cold noodles. DIdn't stop in so can't say anything about them one way or the other, but apparently they now have 'em

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: jgg13
                                    Edokko RE: jgg13 Jun 29, 2014 11:04 AM

                                    It's seasonal--they trot it out for the summer.

                                    1. re: Edokko
                                      opinionatedchef RE: Edokko Jun 29, 2014 12:21 PM

                                      edo, are they good?

                                      1. re: opinionatedchef
                                        Edokko RE: opinionatedchef Jun 29, 2014 03:41 PM

                                        I'm sorry to say that they were one of my disappointments. Totto is next on my list to try.

                                  2. m
                                    makpeeter RE: SJason Jul 1, 2014 06:04 AM

                                    i like noodles with tomato ketch up.

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