Like any New Yorkers, we occasionally get an all-consuming craving for Chinese food that nothing else will satisfy. Speaking of all-consuming, have you been outside recently? The thought of battered, deep-fried sesame chicken (yes, everybody including New Yorkers likes sesame chicken) or mouth-scaldingly delicious soup dumplings (try them with champagne) makes us perspire and move a little closer toward the air conditioner.
Enter the one heat wave-friendly dish on the Chinese menu: Cold sesame noodles. Sometimes referred to as cold peanut noodles, which are actually more accurate in description, these are simply the chewy, tender egg noodles you were going to eat in too-hot too-heavy lo mein anyway, but chilled, tossed with cool, crispy cucumbers and light protein in the form of peanut butter, flavored with sesame oil and soy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Try ordering them for your kid who only eats peanut butter and watch them vanish before your eyes. Careful, those little teeth are sharp.
Once things cool down a little, you can find us face-down in giant steaming bowls of roast duck mandarin soup or actively taking down small mountains of firey Szechuan beef (bless those serving sizes), but the midst of a heat wave, leave us to our cold noodles before they get warm.