There’s no denying that the ramen craze swept Chicago this winter, providing comfort in the form of broth and carbs?lots of carbs. Though a bowl of piping-hot anything may not be exactly what you’re craving as temperatures rise, you don’t have to give up ramen. A handful of noodle bars are serving up chilled seasonal options. Jam-packed with fresh vegetables, cold noodles and traditional flavors, these dishes will cure your cravings without the extra heat.
Cold chuka ramen ($14) at Ramen-San 59 W. Hubbard St. 312-377-9950
If listening to Jay Z while a piece of seared tuna melts in your mouth sounds like a good time, stop whatever you’re doing and run to Ramen-San right now. River North’s twist on the trend includes a chilled dashi broth and noodles, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, fresh grated wasabi, toasted nori and thin slices of seared tuna. Chef Doug Psaltis explained that because the broth isn’t warm, diners can slurp slowly without worrying about the noodles overcooking in the broth. “With hot ramen, I want to eat the noodles as fast as possible and then get to the broth. With cold [ramen], you can kind of pick at it?there’s no rhyme or reason. And there aren’t as many rules. Anything goes.”