Cold Noodles with Tomatoes

It had been a hot week, with all daytime temperatures approaching — or over — 100 degrees. I saw this on the New York Times Cooking website, and we decided to try it. That first time we garnished it with a soft-boiled egg. Wrong. The “broth” was barely there, so this week we made it again, with the revisions shown below. Much better, and perfect for a really hot day. We like the addition of the shrimp, but you could leave them off.

Last note: I usually toast my sesame seeds in a small non-stick skillet, swirling and tossing until they look a slightly darker color. But on our last trip to the Ranch 99 Market near us they had a large container of Toasted Sesame Seeds. We brought it home with us and used it this go-round.

Gather Ingredients:

  • 2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 12 to 14 ounces somyeon, somen, capellini or other thin wheat noodle
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cups cold filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 to 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced at an angle
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice
  • 1/2 pound raw shrimp, tails off, deveined, cut in half

Prepare:

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes and salt. Let sit until juicy, at least 10 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. In a small saucepan, poach the shrimp briefly in boiling salted water. Remove promptly and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  4. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, mustard and sesame oil. Add to the tomatoes, and toss with a spoon until well combined. Stir the filtered water into the tomatoes and sprinkle the surface of the broth with the sesame seeds, radishes and scallions.
  5. 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, radishes, scallions and sesame seeds.

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