Beat the heat with this no-cook noodle bowl

Chilled noodle bowl Jim Norton

In Japan, chilled noodles are a favourite summer hot-weather meal. Cellophane noodles make an easy no-cook solution (just boil the kettle), but you can sub in any Asian noodle—or even spaghettini—cooked according to the package directions.The toppings for this dish are a good way to use up leftovers in the fridge, such as shrimp, corn, cooked chicken or beef, hard-boiled egg, or red pepper. For a large group, batch up the quantities, add a few more toppings, and serve buffet-style. (This is also a good option when you’ve got picky eaters on board). Once all the parts are assembled, serve this choose-your-own adventure noodle bowl on the dock or the deck for magic hour. Makes 4 servings.

1 pkg (250 g) cellophane noodles (also called bean-thread vermicelli, glass noodles, or crystal noodles)
1 tbsp sesame oil
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
⅓ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup julienned ham
3/4 cup crab meat, shredded (see Tip below)
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 tomato, halved, seeded, and sliced
1 apple, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil
Sesame seeds (black or white) for garnish (optional)

1. In a large bowl, pour boiling water over noodles to cover; let stand until noodles are soft but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again. Stir in sesame oil.
2. Stir together broth, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, ginger, and garlic. Divide among 4 small dipping bowls.
3. Divide noodles among 4 large soup bowls. Top with ham, crab meat, carrot, tomato, apple, and basil. Scatter sesame seeds overtop (if using). Serve noodles with sauce on the side or overtop. 

TIP: You can replace the crab with cooked, peeled shrimp, tossed with 1/4–1/2 tsp hot chili sauce, such as sriracha.

This article was originally published in the Summer 2017 issue of Cottage Life.

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