Cold noodles are a necessity for summer eating, especially in Taiwan. You can find liang mian in food stands, 24/7 convenience stores, and in home kitchens. It usually consists of thinly sliced fresh cucumbers, carrots, and egg ribbons nicely arranged on top of bouncy noodles, with a healthy scoop of sesame-vinegar sauce.
As a college student in Taiwan, I would often go to one particular hole-in-the-wall cold noodle shop for a late-night slurp after a long night of drinking. It wasn’t an explicity queer establishment, but it was near the only lesbian bar in Taipei, and it provided a sense of queer community, which was rare in my daily life. This recipe is my tribute to the spaces in Taipei that host young queer folks like me, where I got to feel free and comfortable in my own skin while having affordable, delicious food.
In my attempt to recreate Taipei-style liang mian sauce with ingredients I can easily find in the States, I was able to make a version of the dish with peanut butter, Kong Yen black vinegar (or Worcestershire sauce), and a few other easily found pantry staples. Colorful summer produce and fresh ramen noodles tie it all together. These noodles have a special place in my heart and tummy, and it’s perfect for Pride parties all summer long.
This cool, refreshing dish is a perfect make-ahead candidate. Prep the sauce, cook the eggs, and slice your veg ahead of time, then boil and shock your noodles in ice water just before serving. —Jessie YuChen
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