Homemade soy milk is rich and faintly sweet, with just an edge of complex bitterness, and it’s very straightforward to make. Soak, then simmer dried soy beans until they’re nice and tender, but still hold their shape. Swish them with water to get rid of their papery skins, then blitz the beans with cold water in a blender. You’re done.
Chilled in the fridge, then generously seasoned, this soy milk is ready to pour over bowls of cooked noodles to make kongguksu, the comforting Korean noodle dish that’s simple, nourishing and refreshing — an ideal summer meal.
Kay Chun’s recipe calls for cucumber and sesame seeds on top, though you can add or subtract toppings to suit your mood. Consider halved cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, soft herbs, batons of summer squash, blanched frozen soybeans or quartered hard-boiled eggs.
Cold noodles! I don’t want to eat anything else right now. One of my favorite recipes is Eric Kim’s cold noodles with tomatoes (he recently made a TikTok video for it), which I’ve tried with almost every noodle variety in my pantry, including soba, somyeon and spaghetti. It’s always so good.
Salt a heap of cut cherry tomatoes so they release their juices and form the sweet and tangy base of the noodle broth. Add vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, garlic, a touch of sugar and sesame oil, as if you were mixing a salad dressing, then cut this intense mixture with water. That’s the delicious, perfectly seasoned no-cook broth for the dish, ready to dress noodles.
And if you’re looking for more cold noodles, Hetty McKinnon’s cold noodle salad with spicy peanut sauce is endlessly adaptable to the vegetables you have on hand — radishes, shaved broccoli stems, sliced snap peas, herbs. You can make it ahead of time, and keep it cool, just hold the peanut and scallion topping until right before you eat, when you’ll want to mix the noodles again. They’ll get a little stodgy as the sauce sits and thickens, but don’t worry: They’ll loosen right up if you toss them with splash of water.
One More Thing
If I’m turning on my oven in August, it has to be for something that’s going to be worth it, like, say, Erin Jeanne McDowell’s giant, summery tomato and corn galette. I love a galette, where the edges are haphazardly folded over the filling on a sheet pan, both in terms of the ratio of pastry to filling (ideal!) and the aesthetics (a little bit lopsided, charming).
Erin’s pie dough carries a buttery mixture of roasted cherry tomatoes and corn, all baked together until the crust is a deep golden brown. It’s a great dish to take to a party or a picnic, and any leftover pieces will be excellent for lunch the next day with a pile of salad leaves on the side.