Cold Noodle Salads Rule Summer Lunch

I decided yesterday while I was eating FREEZING COLD sesame noodles from the exact same place I've been eating cold sesame noodles for two decades that there might not be a better summer lunch. Sure, caprese is nice and light and I feel like I've been sitting on my caprese sandwich lunch post for weeks just waiting, waiting, for the buggers to show up at my farmer's market. But sometimes you don't want to eat cold tomatoes and mozzarella, or a cold fried fish sandwich or cold "any other awesome summertime lunch." But noodles. Let's get to the noodles.

So the classic sauce that I reference in "Only You Can Control Your Peanut Sauce Destiny" is peanut butter, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, a little strong black tea, sesame oil and fish sauce topped with scallions. That mixture goes over egg noodles with a little leftover shredded chicken and julienned cucumber on top. Rather than stash it in the fridge in a container, which can make it clump together, I mix the noodles with the sauce in a bowl, add a little extra sesame oil and float the bowl in an ice bath for a bit before eating. Using a stainless steel, or other metal bowl, helps retain the cold temperature, as in the case of naengmyeon.

Out to lunch with Contributing Editor Matt Rodbard, resident expert on all foods Korean, I discovered the wonders of naengmyeon, long, thin noodles served in a cold broth spiked with hot mustard. They're perfect on a hot day in an office near Koreatown and between the sesame noodles, naengmyeon and examples of soba below, I think we can safely say Asia's got this cold noodle technique in the bag. A few other noodle dishes that can and should be served cold:

So keep your cool, as I'm attempting to do while I wait for tomatoes. I have one sitting on the windowsill. It looks just okay.

More noodles for lunch on Food Republic: