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Shanghai's food fans take the heat out of summer by playing it cool

IN Shanghai cold noodles are a tasty variation for summer eaters who want something different. Kat Jiang empties her plate. It's scorching outside, but Shanghainese have their own way to beat the heat - cold dishes. Cheap, clean and subtle in taste, cold food including cold noodles and cold wontons, is one of the great choices for local people on their dining tables.

Traditional Shanghai cold noodles and wontons are placed next to an electric fan after being steamed, not dipped in soup, but dried.

When the noodles have been cooled, seasoning is added, such as peanut butter and vinegar. Then there are toppings ... and there are as many toppings as you can dream of. Just like main courses but not the same size.

Different to traditional soup wontons, lenghuntun or cold wontons are taken out of water after they are boiled and placed on plates just like the jiaozi in northern China. A cold wonton is the same shape as an ordinary wonton, which is usually filled with meat or vegetables.

Some chefs put baking soda into the flour to make the wonton pastry al dente.

Unlike the cold noodles which are served with toppings, cold wontons are served with only vinegar or sesame sauce. The most popular variety is the shepherd's purse and pork filling.

Both cold noodles and wontons are sold by weight, normally 100 grams for less than US$1. They are easy to cook at home.

In recent years, many different kinds of cold noodles have arrived on menus.

You may even have had the opportunity to try cold noodles from other countries. Let's explore some of these tastes around the city of Shanghai.

Shanghai cold noodles

Most of the noodle shops and local restaurants offer authentic Shanghai noodles, especially the time-honored brands.

The Dexing Noodle Restaurant, which runs several outlets around Shanghai, offers noodles with variety of toppings, all of which local people are familiar with.

You can choose from stewed pork, fried fish and vegetable toppings here and revel in your summer tastes.

But if you want to go for lunch, you should be prepared for a wait.

Most of the cold noodle outlets are packed with eager eaters at this hour.

Korean cold noodles

South Korean cold noodles, with their icy cold?broth and soft?noodles,?have stood the test of time. These cold noodles are sweet and sour, perfect for summer appetites. Sometimes you get crushed ice in the broth.

The Pang Ayi (Fat Auntie) Korean cold noodle shop, once featured on a popular television food program, is one of the hottest destinations for lovers of South Korean food.

Heavy eaters should be warned, however, that the noodles are not often served in large quantities, and one bowl may not completely satisfy your hunger.

Japanese cold noodles

The most recommended noodles in Japanese restaurants in summer are the various flavors of buckwheat cold noodles.

Some restaurants serve a delicious green tea flavor which is much tastier than the plain version.

Garnishing is added, making the bowl look like a work of art.

With a few shallots added, you are almost guaranteed to feel the summer heat receding.

Some restaurants will serve you the noodles over ice cubes - a perfect style for summer.

Sichuan cold noodles

If you prefer spicy and strong tastes, you can try the spicy Sichuan Dan Dan Mian in Xin Ya Da Bao. These are served in the same style as cold noodles but have their own bite for those who like spicy food in the summer.

This chain has many locations in Shanghai. Editor's Pick

Shanghai cold noodles:

Dexing Noodle Restaurant (flagship shop)

Address: 471 Gugangdong Rd

Tel: 6352-2535

Dexing Noodle Restaurant (Fujian Rd outlet)

Address: 529 Fujian Rd M.

Tel: 6360-2866

Dafugui Restaurant

Address: 1409 Zhonghua Rd

Tel: 6377-0322

Lao Guangdong Restaurant

Address: 924 Renmin Rd, near Yuyuan Garden

Tel: 6328-8474

Korean cold noodles:

Pang Ayi Korean Cold Noodles

Address: 667 Tanggu Rd

Address: 24 Sipailou Rd, near Yuyuan Garden

Address: 99 Zhapu Rd

Tel: ?6325-0747

Japanese cold noodles:

Boduo Pork Bone Lamen

Address: Xinyu Rd E., near Shuicheng Rd

Tel: 3208-7977

Fukushima Lamen

Address: 1450 Kaixuan Rd, near Anshun Rd

Tel : 6281-5809

Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant

Adress: 3/F, Infinity Plaza, 138 Huaihai Rd M.

Tel: 6375-6632

How to cook cold noodles: It is easy to prepare cold noodles in your own kitchen. Once you have learnt the basics, you will soon be making noodles constantly with different variations to the delight of your friends and family.

This cold noodle dish is just chicken, vegetables and noodles topped with a vinegar and sesame sauce.

You can, of course, use different amounts of sauce - adjust the amount of sauce according to your own taste adding hot chili oil if that takes your fancy.

The cooking method:

Boil the noodles, drain them and let them cool, tossing the noodles with 1 to 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Blanch mung bean sprouts in boiling water and drain thoroughly.

Peel a cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seed.

Prepare the sauce by combining sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar.

Place the noodles on a serving plate. Arrange cooked chicken slices, cucumber and bean sprouts on top.

Add the sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.


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