If Achilles had ever cooked, I’m convinced noodles would have been his heel.
Getting noodles — especially Asian-style noodles — just right has always been a bit of a mystery to me. In fact, nailing the consistency of noodles — just a smidge over al dente — is so daunting that I tend to avoid making pad thais and Southeast Asian mee gorengs at home. (My first pad thai attempt years ago, after all, resulted in me using chopsticks to pull apart gummy ropes of noodles that had been welded together into a mound. I’ve never tried to make this dish again.)
After a recent lunch at a Sichuan restaurant in New York where I had a fiery and ginger-speckled dish of spicy chilled sesame noodles, however, I simply couldn’t stop thinking about them.
So when my Let’s Lunch group of bloggers around the world who gather for a monthly lunch date suggested making cold entrees for August, I decided to get back on that horse …
The best policy when it comes to summer eating is — the hotter it is, the spicier the food.
Growing up in a tropical country tends to teach you this, anyway. And so when temperatures soared in New York City recently, fiery noodles and stir-fries started beckoning.
Now, living in New York gives you no dearth of great options when it comes to spice — Grand Sichuan in the East Village and Chelsea are both phenomenal. As is Wu Liang Ye in Midtown. We’d been reading lyrical posts about the offerings at a little Chinatown place that boasts authentic — and flaming-hot — Sichuan food, however.
So when a recent day had us marinating in sweat the moment we stepped out the door, we found ourselves making our way toward Famous Sichuan on little Pell Street…