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.

Mushrooms and Soy over Noodles

Soy and Mushroom Dish

Recipe adapted from Chris Jaeckle, All’onda, New York.
Published March 2014 in the New York Times
Further adaptations from Sam Sifton, and then further adapted in my kitchen.

Mushrooms and Soy wNoodles

Lemon Pappardelle pasta

TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes
Put the water on to boil for the a Lemon Paparadelle noodles from Trader Joe’s or use any high quality flat noodle that is at least 1/2″ wide. In between all other tasks, cook the noodles to al dente and the let them drain. Just before combining with the mushrooms, run hot water over them to freshen and unstick, the let drain again. Or, just get the timing down so the noodles are ready when the mushrooms are.

sliced mushrooms

FOR THE MUSHROOMS
About 20-30 ounces of mushrooms, thinly sliced (It’s better with a combination of mushrooms, such as Golden Oak, Crimini and Shiitakke, but it’s still quite good with just white mushrooms and crimini.) I do not measure, but when combining the mushrooms at the end, most go into the mixture, but some might be held back for another day. You be the judge.

Roughly 6 ounces cold butter, cut into 2 tablespoon pats
3 ounces butter ( for finishing)
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed through a press (or minced)
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION

  1. So as to not crowd the mushrooms as they cook,work in batches to cook them. For each batch, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a sauté pan set over high heat until it has melted. Add 1/2 pressed clove of garlic, then about 2 -3 cups of mushrooms, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, turning until browned, tossing frequently, until mushrooms are coated with butter and start to wilt slightly. The ratio is more important than the quantity (a small amount of butter and garlic to the mushrooms), so if your pan is smaller, use fewer mushrooms. Remove to a bowl, then repeat until all mushrooms have been cooked. Remove last batch to the bowl.
  2. Add the beef broth to the pan deglaze the surface, using a wooden spoon to scrape at the browned bits. Allow the stock to reduce by half, then turn the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, whisking to combine, followed by the soy sauce, cream and olive oil. Allow mixture to cook until it thickens a little, then remove from heat. Taste for seasoning, adding black pepper, if desired.
  3. Add the mushrooms to this, tossing to coat as well as incorporate any accumulated juices (can drain those out earlier into soy mixture if desired).
  4. Put the warm noodles in a warmed bowl, then top with mushrooms and the sauce. Serve immediately.