Brrracing Noodles

Gwen Ashley WaltersAugust 1, 2015
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Slurp your way to summer relief with these chilled ramens, sobas and vermicellis.

Chou’s Kitchen
910 N. Alma School Rd., Chandler, 480-821-2888
Something about cool, slippery noodles is more than appealing – in Phoenix, it’s emergency relief. Digging into a bowl of chilled noodles spiked with cooling flavors – think cucumber and mint – offers a brief respite from the ghastly summer heat. A good place to find your prescription is at the unassuming Chou’s Kitchen. Known for Northern Chinese meat pies and dumplings, Chou’s has a potent weapon to battle summer’s sear: spicy and sour vermicelli ($5.98). The dish starts with ice-cold sweet potato starch noodles, the size of fat spaghetti and the color of murky glass. Chilled and tossed with red-chile-infused sesame oil and numbing Sichuan peppercorns, plus sour Chinkiang black rice vinegar, slivered cucumbers, whole peanuts and cilantro, the slurp-worthy noodles offer a swirling flavor burst coupled with a supernatural cooling effect despite the chile sting.

Clever Koi
4236 N. Central Ave., Phoenix,  
Only one chilled noodle option is available at Clever Koi, and only at lunch when the modern Asian-flavored restaurant presents the “build your own bowl” menu check-list, but it’s worth seeking out. Vivid green tea soba noodles are blanched and tossed with a splash of sesame oil and chilled in the same Korean-flavored marinade Chef Jared Porter uses for steak – soy sauce, ginger, garlic, chile flakes and a touch of brown sugar. The delicious, soothing bowl starts at $5, but you can kick it up with a wood-grilled protein ($3) or any number of vegetables ($1 each).

Kale & Clover
20511 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale,
If a heaping bowl of refrigerated noodles is just too transgressive for your taste, you’re in luck. This “Mindful Kitchen” – aimed squarely at the health-conscious – offers a training-wheels option. An eco-friendly bowl packed with tons of vegetables – broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, snap peas, carrots, radish slices, cilantro and mint – also sports a handful of springy noodles made from three grains, including whole wheat and buckwheat. Tossed with a citrus-soy dressing whisked with a smidgen of creamy almond butter, it’s a refreshing salad with substance ($10).

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