This week we knew we had to make a recipe that didn’t involve any cooking – this heat wave is exhausting! My first thought was a classic gazpacho with a fennel twist (which I imagine would be delicious!), but came across this recipe and couldn’t resist. It comes from Eric Kim at New York Times Cooking, and is a dish inspired by Korean cold cucumber soup oi naengguk and cold noodle soup naengmyeon. It’s satisfying, juicy, and COLD (so incredibly refreshing in this heat). I’ve tweaked it a bit from how it was originally written – feel free to add cubed extra firm tofu or cooked shrimp as your protein choice, julienned summer squash could be another lovely addition.
Cold Tomato Noodle Soup
- 1 – 2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cucumber julienned
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt Diamond Crystal (or 1 tsp sea salt)
- 12 to 14 ounces somyeon somen, capellini or other thin wheat noodle
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large garlic clove finely grated
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 scallions thinly sliced at an angle
- 2 cups crushed or cubed ice
- handful of chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
- 2-4 hard or medium – boiled eggs (optional)
In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, and salt. Let sit until juicy, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to package instructions, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Add the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, mustard and sesame oil to the tomatoes and cucumber, and toss with a spoon until well combined. Stir the filtered water into the tomatoes and cucumber and sprinkle the surface of the broth with the sesame seeds, cucumber, and scallions.
Right before serving, add the ice to the broth. Divide the noodles among bowls, and ladle in the broth and any unmelted ice, making sure each serving gets a nice sprinkling of tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions and sesame seeds. Garnish each bowl with cilantro and halved boiled egg (if desired).