Summer has officially arrived, though no one has told the weather-god where I live yet. It doesn't matter though, I can easily put myself in a summer-y mood by making this bowl of simple cold sesame noodle.
Besides my intent to defy the weather, I was also inspired to do this by a discussion about Japanese cooking in a food forum I frequent. A dressing someone used in a bowl of cooked greens reminded me of a cold sesame noodle I've had in Japan, so I conveniently copied the idea to make myself a bowl.
My fridge was rather sparse, so I only found carrots and cucumbers. You are, of course, free to use any crunchy veggies you love. A bit of spicy shiso leafs or cool celery would do quite nicely too, I think. The idea is to cut them into match sticks to go with the shape of the noodles. The sesame sauce I made up for this is a simple mix of sesame paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and ginger. I also used a little Japanese sweet cooking wine, Mirin, in it, but if you don't have Mirin on hand you can easily add just a drop of mild honey to give it the sweet edge it needs.
The cold noodles combined with the nutty and gingery dressing, with the added crunch from the vegetables, make a perfect summer lunch you can whip up in just a few minutes.