Green Beans with Indian Spiced Tomatoes

4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups very finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon whole yellow or brown mustard seeds
2 cups peeled, seeded, and finely chopped fresh tomatoes (see Recipe Notes)
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds whole green and/or yellow wax beans, ends trimmed and any tough strings removed
1/2 teaspoon ground grains of paradise (see Recipe Notes)
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, brown sugar, salt, garam masala, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, and mustard seed; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Stir in the tomatoes and stock. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the beans. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook gently in barely bubbling sauce, stirring occasionally, until the beans are fully tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the grains of paradise, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Serve warm, at room temperature, or lightly chilled.

Green Beans and Cucumbers with Miso Dressing

3 Persian cucumbers or 1/2 English hothouse cucumber
Kosher salt
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 1-1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
1 serrano or Fresno chile, finely grated
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup white miso
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions (for serving)

Lightly smash cucumbers with a rolling pin, then tear into bite-size pieces. Toss with a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Let sit to allow salt to penetrate.

Meanwhile, place green beans in a large resealable plastic bag, seal, and smash with rolling pin until most of the beans are split open and bruised. Whisk ginger, chile, garlic, vinegar, miso, olive oil, and sesame oil in a medium bowl until smooth. Add dressing to beans and toss around in bag to coat; season with salt.

Drain cucumbers and add to bag with beans. Shake gently to combine. Transfer salad to a platter and top with sesame seeds and scallions.

Soba Noodle Salad with Cucumber and Mango

3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 red jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel
12 ounces green soba or chuka soba (Japanese-style) noodles
1 large English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 large ripe mango, peeled, halved, pitted, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped toasted salted peanuts
Lime wedges

Warm vinegar, sugar, and salt in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Stir in garlic and jalapeño. Cool. Mix in lime juice, sesame oil, and lime peel.

Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain well. Rinse under cold water; drain again. Transfer noodles to dish-towel-lined platter to drain. Transfer noodles to large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Add cucumber, mango, basil, and mint to noodles and toss gently. Arrange salad on platter. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Garnish with lime wedges. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Cold Udon Noodles with Chicken

1 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast
Kosher salt
9 ounces udon noodles
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, optional
2 carrots, peeled, very thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Simmer the chicken breast in a medium pot of salted water until cooked through, 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Shred into bite-sized pieces.

Meanwhile, cook udon noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain; rinse under cold water.

Whisk tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup water in a large bowl until smooth; season with salt. Add carrots, cucumber, scallion whites, shredded chicken, and udon noodles and toss to coat. Garnish with scallion greens and sesame seeds.

Cold Sesame Soba Noodles with Mixed Greens and Bok Choy

1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper, divided
1/3 cup canola oil
8 ounces soba noodles
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
3 cups (loosely packed) mixed baby greens
2 heads of baby bok choy, cored, thinly sliced crosswise
1 English hothouse cucumber, cut into matchstick-size strips
3 green onions, cut into matchstick-size strips
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Salted roasted peanuts

Puree first 9 and 1 teaspoon red pepper in blender until smooth. With machine running, gradually add canola oil through opening in lid. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Cook soba noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Using kitchen shears, cut noodles crosswise in 2 to 3 places. Drizzle noodles in strainer with sesame oil and toss to coat.

Place greens, bok choy, cucumber, green onions, chopped cilantro, and mint in large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon red pepper, dressing, and noodles; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and peanuts and serve.

Cold Noodles with Chicken and Chili-Scallion Oil

2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 star anise pods
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 oz. Japanese wheat noodles (such as ramen, somen, or udon)
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 large English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
4 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro leaves or any sprout

Chile-scallion oil: Cook all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until scallions and garlic are just golden brown, about 3 minutes. Let cool; transfer oil to a jar.

DO AHEAD: Chile oil can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Noodles and assembly: Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions; drain. Rinse noodles under cold water, then shake off as much water as possible.

Whisk soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and oil in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Add noodles, chicken, and scallions; toss to coat.

Toss with cucumber, radishes, and cilantro and drizzle with chile oil just before serving.

DO AHEAD: Noodles can be cooked the night before. Toss with 1 tsp. oil; cover and chill. Store noodles with chicken; store vegetables and dressing separately.

Cold Rice Noodles with Chicken and Nuoc Cham

1 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (about 2)
Kosher salt
1 large shallot, thinly sliced crosswise, separated into rings
1/2 cup vegetable oil
8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
1 Fresno chile or red jalapeño, with seeds, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 baby white turnips, trimmed, thinly sliced into rounds
4 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced into rounds
1 1/2 cups fresh Thai or sweet basil leaves, divided

Prepare grill for medium heat. Season chicken with salt and grill, turning often and moving away from direct heat if needed, until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 165°, 20–25 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool slightly, then shred meat, discarding skin and bones. Set aside.

Cook shallot in oil in a small sauce- pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until shallot is golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes (reserve shallot oil and use to make vinaigrettes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallot rings to a paper towel–lined plate and season with salt. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place noodles in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let noodles soak until tender but not mushy, 5–10 minutes; drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Mix chile, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, and brown sugar in a large bowl to combine. Add noodles, turnips, radishes, half of basil, and reserved shredded chicken, and toss to combine. Top with reserved fried shallot rings and remaining basil.

DO AHEAD: Shallot rings can be fried 3 days in advance. Store airtight at room temperature. Dressing can be made 2 days ahead.

Cold Sesame Noodles with Chili Oil and Scallions

4 scallions, whites and greens separated, thinly sliced
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons Sichuan pepper, coarsely chopped
12 ounces thin ramen noodles or spaghettini
Kosher salt
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar

Cook scallion whites, vegetable oil, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and pepper in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until oil is sizzling and scallions are golden brown, 12–15 minutes; let chili oil cool in saucepan.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente; drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Whisk tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and 2–3 tablespoons chili oil (depending on desired heat) in a large bowl; season with salt. Add noodles and toss to coat. Top with scallion greens and drizzle with more chili oil.

Cold Rice Noodles with Lemongrass Shrimp

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, tails intact, deveined
1/2 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layer removed, lightly smashed, finely chopped
1 Fresno chile, with seeds, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 oz. rice vermicelli noodles
Vegetable oil (for grilling)
1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut into thin strips
1 medium carrot, peeled, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup salted, roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Thai basil, mint, and/or cilantro sprigs, and pickled shallots for serving
Nuoc Cham for serving

Toss shrimp, lemongrass, chile, garlic, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Using tongs or a spider, transfer noodles to a colander and run under cold water to stop cooking; set aside.

Prepare grill for medium-high heat; oil grill grate. Grill shrimp until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.

Top noodles with shrimp, cucumber, carrot, peanuts, herbs, and Pickled Whole Shallots, and serve with Nuoc Cham.

DO AHEAD: Shrimp can be marinated 12 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Cold Bean Thread Noodles with Quick Pickles

6 ounces wide bean thread noodles
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large daikon (Japanese white radish; about 1 pound), julienned
1 English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled, julienned
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup torn fresh cilantro, divided
3/4 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped, divided

Place noodles in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let noodles soak until tender but not mushy, 15–20 minutes; drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Whisk garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and pepper in another large bowl. Add daikon, cucumber, and carrots; toss to combine. Let sit 10 minutes.

Add noodles, oil, half of cilantro, and half of peanuts to bowl; toss to combine. Top salad with remaining cilantro and peanuts.

DO AHEAD: Vegetables can be pickled 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Cold Sesame Soba Noodles

1 package soba noodles
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons sambal olek
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 scallions

Treat your soba noodles as you would any pasta. Cook the noodles in a pot of salted, boiling water until tender, about five minutes. Strain noodles and transfer to medium-large bowl. Drizzle in about one tablespoon of sesame oil until you notice that the noodles give off an oily sheen from being well-coated. Pop that bowl in the refrigerator and forget about it until the noodles have chilled out.

While those soba noodles are chilling, combine about 1 tablespoon of ginger and 1 tablespoon of garlic in a small to medium-sized bowl. Add Indonesian hot sauce sambal oelek to that (about 1½ tablespoons) along with around two tablespoons soy sauce, two tablespoons mirin, two tablespoons lime juice, two tablespoons sesame oil, one tablespoon sesame seeds, and the sliced crunchy white-green bottoms of two or three scallions (save the green parts for the next step). Whisk to combine.

Remove the chilled soba noodles from the refrigerator and add half of the freshly whisked sauce and toss. Add the other half, along with the sliced green-only tops of two to three scallions. Make sure the noodles are generously coated in the spicy-sweet-salty-nutty dressing, and serve with sesame seeds and a sprinkle of whatever remaining scallion slices you have left.

Japanese Pickled Cucumbers with Seaweed

2 English hothouse or 8 Persian cucumbers, sliced crosswise 1/4″ thick
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/3 cup Pacific Arame seaweed
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp agave syrup (nectar)
1 tsp Shaoxing or other rice wine or sake
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Toss cucumbers and salt in a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, then squeeze well to remove as much excess moisture as possible.

Meanwhile, place seaweed in a small bowl and add warm water to cover. Let soak until softened, about 5 minutes; drain and squeeze out excess moisture.

Whisk vinegar, agave, and wine in a medium bowl. Add cucumbers, seaweed, and sesame seeds and toss to coat.

DO AHEAD: Cucumbers can be salted and rinsed 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Sichuan Cold Chicken with Two Sauces

About ¾ lb (300–350g) cold, cooked chicken, without bones
3 spring onions
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
For the sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp Chinkiang vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chicken stock
3–4 tbsp chilli oil with ½ tbsp of its sediment (or more, if you wish)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground, roasted Sichuan pepper, to taste
1 tsp sesame oil

Cut or tear the chicken as evenly as possible into bite-sized strips or slivers and place them in a deep bowl. Cut the spring onions at a steep angle into thin slices. Mix them and the salt with the chicken. If using sesame seeds, toast them gently in a dry wok or frying pan for a few minutes, until they are fragrant and starting to turn golden, then tip out into a small dish.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

When you are ready to eat, pour the sauce over the chicken, and mix well with chopsticks or salad servers. Arrange on a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

VARIATION

Another sauce for cold chicken
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp finely chopped or crushed garlic
2 tbsp chicken stock
3 tbsp chilli oil (with or without its sediment)
½ tsp ground, roasted Sichuan pepper
½ tsp sesame oil

Edamame with Miso Sambal

1 pound frozen edamame in their pods
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons chili sauce, such as sambal
2 tablespoons red or white miso paste

Prepare the edamame according to the package instructions, or until just steamed through. Transfer the cooked edamame to a serving bowl.
In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Add the garlic and chili sauce to the hot oil, and cook until combined and fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the miso and mix together for another minute.

Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the spicy miso mixture over the edamame. Toss to coat, and serve immediately.