What's the poor ramen lover to do when the days get hot and muggy in NYC and a bowl of steaming porky broth seems too much to bear?
Turn to hiyashi chuka ($14), the traditional summer ramen that's served all over Japan in warm weather, and at Brooklyn's Ganso too.
"It's a dish that evokes coolness," says owner Harris Salat. "It's really simple and refreshing and it wakes up the palate."
We asked Salat to walk us through the summer's coolest noodle dish:
① The chilled, chewy noodles come from New Jersey's finest, Sun Noodle. The wavy strands are shocked in an ice bath and served dressed in a tare vinaigrette dosed with yuzu juice.
② Behold the perfect ramen egg with a squishy yolk, softly boiled and lightly marinated in soy, mirin, ginger and garlic.
③ Last year, Salat was serving belly, but this season the hiyashi chuka is crowned with pieces of pork cheek that have been braised in aromatics, plus soy, sake, mirin and a little sugar.
④ The cucumbers are very lightly cured so they're just gently sweet and savory without the punch and crunch of a Western-style sour pickle.
⑤ Piles of fresh toppings include shimeji mushrooms and seasonal greens--in this case some Shanghai shoots, a kind of bok choy--dressed in chile oil. A giant mound of thinly sliced scallions is essential.