As elite athletes from close to the globe are about to discover, Tokyo gets sweaty in the summer months. That doesn’t quit the men and women who live there from ordering noodles yr round. A single of the most well-liked dishes—zaru soba—consists of space temperature skinny buckwheat noodles nestled atop a bamboo mat that you plunge into a dashi-dependent broth. Feeding on the slippery noodles as soon as they’re coated in the savory dipping sauce calls for Olympic-amount chopsticks abilities, but it’s value it. Even if you are not carb-loading for the most critical athletic occasion of your daily life, there are lots of Japanese noodle dishes to try out in D.C. that are best for summer season slurping. These six are between our favorites:
Chilly Soba With Yellowtail and Salmon Roe at Akira Ramen & Izakaya DC ($18)
2479 18th St. NW, (202) 588-1510, akiraramendc.com
Japanophiles in the D.C. space would do themselves a favor by paying a minor additional attention to Akira in Adams Morgan. In addition to various styles of ramen, they have dishes usually located at Japanese pubs that make wonderful drinking snacks, like gyoza (dumplings) and road food items like takoyaki (doughy orbs with octopus bits in the centre).
Proper now, you must gravitate to Akira’s selection of dwelling-produced cold soba noodles served with a dashi-dependent broth to which you can insert wasabi and scallions for much more flavor. Pick the a single that will come topped with thickly sliced yellowtail sashimi and salmon roe, grated daikon radish, and ginger. Spoon on the poached egg that will come on the facet for silkiness and insert pickles for some crunch. If you do not want to dip, personnel say you can pour the sauce into the bowl, although the combination gets a small murky.
Hiyashi Chuka at Haikan ($8 for a tiny, $13.75 for a normal measurement part)
805 V St. NW, (202) 299-1000, haikandc.com
The rainbow of regular toppings for hiyashi chuka remind Chef Katsuya Fukushima of a chef’s salad. They consist of neatly arranged strips of egg crepes, cucumber, ham, and imitation crab or shrimp. When he set out to introduce a edition of cold ramen preparing at Haikan in Shaw, he bought a minimal more creative.
Fukushima serves the chilled noodles with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, ground rooster, Szechuan oil, and a dressing built from soy sauce and vinegar. Most of the restaurant’s piping hot bowls of ramen element pork, consequently why Fukushima went with hen. He struggles to fully grasp why hiyashi chuka is not a lot more well known ideal now.
“Cold noodles is a quite difficult sell,” Fukushima says. “What you could equate it to is a chilly pasta salad and when do you eat that besides picnics? But I like it. It is refreshing.” He vows to continue to keep seeking to transform people today. “Maybe the Tokyo Olympics and the scorching summer months will spark something.”
Truffle Shoyu Ramen at Menya Hosaki ($18)
845 Upshur St. NW, (202) 330-3977, menyahosakidc.com
If you are heading to tummy a steaming bowl of ramen in the sweltering heat, choose for a selection with a apparent shio- or shoyu-based broth as an alternative of a heavier, creamier sort like tonkotsu. Petworth’s Menya Hosaki attire up its shoyu ramen with a squirt of truffle oil that integrates seamlessly and isn’t at all frustrating. The cafe comes from chef and owner Eric Yoo, who can make the noodles in residence. Of all the ramen-accompanying eggs out there, Menya Hosaki wins out. The texture of the yolk is nearly pudding-like and it absorbs the smokiness of the soup. Acquire a seat in the air conditioning and pair the truffle shoyu ramen with a cold Japanese beer.
Tempura Hiyashi Udon at Sushi Taro ($17)
1503 17th St. NW, (202) 462-8999, sushitaro.com
Sushi Taro launched a new menu merchandise two weeks back that stars the Dupont Circle restaurant’s property-built udon noodles. Chef Nobu Yamazaki claims the white wheat noodles have a terrific chew to them and are a minimal for a longer period than the retail outlet-bought range.
“Udon and soba have been on the menu in each individual Japanese restaurant for so extensive, but most men and women only know the very hot soup noodle when it will come to udon,” Yamazaki says. “But there are heaps of strategies to take in udon and soba, relying on the temperature. We’d like to introduce a summertime dish.”
Diners are supposed to pour the chilled, soy-based mostly broth in excess of the noodles and “mix it all up,” according to Yamazaki. Sushi Taro serves shrimp tempura on the facet. Diners can make a decision no matter if to location them atop the chilly soup or try to eat them individually among slurps.
Yamazaki’s brother and business enterprise spouse, Jin Yamazaki, states diners need to glance forward to a different chilly dish that will debut later this summer—cold soba noodles flavored with sudachi, a lime-like Japanese citrus fruit. There is also a cold somen noodle course bundled in Sushi Taro’s kaiseki tasting menu that comes with grilled ayu, a compact fish that performs well with charcoal.
BLT Yakisoba at Hatoba ($14)
300 Tingey St. SE #170, (202) 488-4800, hatobadc.com
The term yakisoba can be a tiny perplexing mainly because the stir-fried noodles that are ubiquitous at street festivals in Japan really do not use delicate soba noodles that just cannot choose the heat of a wok. Yakisoba makers instead use a wheat noodle that’s very similar to a squiggly ramen noodle. Hatoba simply just repurposes its ramen noodles from the Nishiyama noodle factory in Sapporo, Japan.
Chef Katsuya Fukushima believed to incorporate a assortment of yakisoba dishes to the Hatoba menu because the cafe is by Nationals Park. He has fond recollections of feeding on yakisoba at baseball video games in Japan out of plastic containers.
One get is inspired by a typical summer sandwich. “I wished to do something which is relatable and a BLT is really relatable,” Fukushima describes. The noodles are fried with with Applewood-smoked bacon, charred romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, shio tare (a salt-primarily based flavoring agent for ramen), and irregular stripes of Kewpie mayo—Japan’s finest contribution to the condiment entire world.
“Regular yakisoba almost usually has cabbage in it, so I believed as an alternative of cabbage let’s do lettuce,” Fukushima states. “I enjoy wokked lettuce.” When he developed the dish, tomatoes were coming into season. And bacon appeared like a entertaining substitute for other types of pork that normally go into yakisoba. “It’s getting a BLT on a plate. It birthed by itself.”
Bukkake Cold Soba at Rakuya ($9)
1900 Q St. NW, (202) 265-7258, rakuyarestaurant.com
If dipping isn’t appealing, an additional type of chilly soba noodles phone calls for them to arrive at the desk presently submerged in a chilled dashi-based broth. Rakuya in Dupont Circle provides kinpira gobo (braised burdock root), scallions, kaiware sprouts, egg, bamboo shoots, tempura flakes for texture, and wasabi. Though the toppings are vegetarian, dashi is commonly manufactured with dried bonito flakes.
This dish isn’t presently on the menu, but companion Marcel The says it will make its return for July and August. Like most of the menu at Rakuya, the bukkake chilly soba dish is a good price at $9. A helpful environment and generous portion sizes enable pack Rakuya with community regulars.