Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summertime = NOODLES

When it gets this hot my thoughts turn to noodles.  Specifically Asian Noodles giant bowls of Vietnamese Bun with grilled pork and thin delicate Rice Vermicelli teeming with mint, basil and cilantro and topped with Nuoc Cham full of chilies, lime juice and fish sauce.  This salad is cooling and fresh, filling and affordable!   

Or Cold Soba Noodles from Japan chewy and earthy.  They are made out of buckwheat and have a fantastic nuttiness to them.  When topped with a dash of Sesame Oil, Nori and Sesame Seeds and then dipped into a cold broth made out of Dashi, Soy Sauce and Mirin.  This is the simplest most soul satisfying dish around.  

Have you heard how eating chilies when it's hot outside actually helps to cool you down?  It's true!  And when it's a billion degrees I always think of curry.  This time by way of Thailand and a fantastic green curry and coconut milk soup with sliced chicken and wide fat rice noodles, the scents of lemongrass and galangal (a member of the ginger family) in this fantastic dish are purely transportive.

Then there is Udon.  Fat slippery chewy wheat noodles from Japan.  It's a bit of an obsession of mine, Udon and Ramen both.  My Broth usually takes 2 days and is rich with both pork and chicken.  This is not a diet dish rather, it is a rich full on assault.  A dish you will eat till you think you're going to pop.  It's topped with slow roasted pork, poached egg, nori, fish cake, chili powder and anything under the sun you can think of.  It's a bowled up buffet suspended in a rich broth steaming hot.  It'll do you right!  Udon seems to be more of a cold weather dish for me.  But waxing about noodles the way I am, it just seems unfair to leave them out.

Most of these dishes are surprisingly easy to make and are a great way to use up any leftovers you might have in the fridge (last night's chicken anyone?) and all of the noodles cook in mere minutes and can be done ahead of time and refreshed with a little cold or hot water depending on how you're eating them.  Rice noodles especially are a fantastic addition to anyone eating a Gluten Free Diet.  Take a look and give them a try.  It's the perfect time.

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