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Suggestions for cold, asian style, noodles?

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. 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. 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

        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. 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

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

          1. re: lossless

            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

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

            1. 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

                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

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

                  1. re: Allstonian

                    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

                    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. 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

                      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

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

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Taralli

                        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. 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....

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Edokko

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

                          1. re: teezeetoo

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

                              1. re: teezeetoo

                                Just visited JoJo Taipei. They have a special cold noodle dish right now, their usual sesame noodles with slivers of carrot and cucumber on top. You can also add chicken. The dish comes with hot chili oil on the side. Really good! In other cold noodle news, we really enjoyed the Taiwanese-style dan dan noodles at Myers and Chang. Also, finally made it to Shojo and tried the glass noodle salad mentioned above. It was more salad than noodle dish but quite tasty. We really liked everything we had there, the service was great and it's a really nice space - we will definitely go back.

                          2. re: Edokko

                            that's hysterical! yet another food as theater!

                          3. 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. 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

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

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: saria

                                  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

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

                                2. 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

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

                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

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

                                  2. i like noodles with tomato ketch up.