When the weather gets hot, the hot get slurping. All across Asia, summer tends to be a humid, sweltering affair. Sadists might sweat it out over a steaming hot bowl of ramen or pho. But for the rest, few things help beat the heat like chilled noodles. From Japanese hiyashi chuka to Thai yum woon sen, there are plenty of ways to get your noodle fix with a frosty touch. Here are nine classics that you can create on your own.
1. Asian Peanut Noodles
Creamy, silky, and slick, this Szechuan takeout classic packs in just enough spicy heat to get your tastebuds tingling. Get our Asian Peanut Noodles recipe.
2. Goma Hiyashi Chūka (Sesame Ramen Salad)
Think of hiyashi chuka as a ramen salad. You get the same springy noodles as in the hot stuff, but instead of hot broth, there’s an addictive, salty-sweet dressing based around soy sauce. Get the recipe here.
3. Naeng Myun (Korean Buckwheat Noodles in Chilled Broth)
Sweet and gingery with a hint of vinegar, naeng myun brings together brisket, summer vegetables, and slithery buckwheat noodles in a cool, clear broth. Get the recipe here.
4. Black Sesame and Ginger Chicken Noodle Salad
Black sesame has a distinctively nutty flavor that is hard not to get hooked on. Slathered onto these noodles, it not only makes for a stunning, inky appearance, but also a supremely slurpable sauce. Get the recipe here.
5. Yum Woon Sen (Spicy Glass Noodles with Crispy Pork)
Yum woon sen features bouncy bean thread noodles coated in a succulent mixture of fish sauce, lime and soy. To top it off, there’s a finely minced jumble of scallions, peanuts, and pork, which cling to the noodle strands, adding a bit of texture to each bite. Get the recipe here.
6. Rice Vermicelli with Chicken and Nuoc Cham
Inspired by Vietnam’s cold rice noodle dishes, this recipe sits somewhere between a light and refreshing salad and a substantial, meaty main. Get the recipe here.
7. Liang Pi (Shaanxi Sesame Cold Noodles)
Liang pi noodles feature a sauce that balances the creaminess of sesame with the wallop of garlic and deep flavor of black vinegar—the exact sort of flavors that make western Chinese cuisine so distinctive and enticing. Get the recipe here.
8. Kimchi Bibim Guksu (Spicy Cold Noodles with Kimchi)
Kimchi brings the spicy sort of heat to bibim guksu, while its wheat-based noodles stay calm and cool. Get the recipe here.
9. Sesame Noodle Salad with Tofu
Bell pepper, tofu, and cucumber bring pops of bright color and a variety of textures to this noodle salad that’s spiked with a hint of ginger and garlic. Get our Sesame Noodle Salad with Tofu recipe.
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.