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your summer bestie is ready to party
It seems like all of us are fucking exhausted these day but summer still has some hidden blessings. Tomatoes are so so good right now. We’re all used to eating sad, flavorless tomatoes year-round but come summertime, they transform into the jewels they were always meant to be. Sweet juicy orbs of edible sunshine. I don’t like to fuss with them too much during the summer when they’re this good. Just a lil’ heat here and there, a lil’ acid, but not much else. I eat them by the fistful in my salads and piled high on sandwiches. I keep a bowl of cherry tomatoes on the kitchen counter that I snack on during these long hot days. I’ve loved these fuckers my whole life so naturally there is no shortage of tomato recipes in this newsletter, in our books, or on the site. Last year’s late summer pomodoro and Mediterranean summer salsa are both personal favorites. Hungry as Hell has tomato fritters and a broiled tomato sandwich recipe that I can’t wait for you to try. But for now, please join me in my new obsession: tomatoes and soy sauce or tamari.
Soy sauce and tomatoes might seem like an unlikely pair at first but it only takes one taste to change your mind. It’s the perfect umami bomb that you never knew you needed. Add a splash to your next batch of marinated tomatoes or sauce and see what happens. Need more guidance? Make these tomato and tamari noodles and see what all the fuss is about.
Grab the best quality fresh tomatoes you can find for this recipe. I used some Campari tomatoes and they were perfect but use whatever looks great to you. If you have some ripe tomatoes in your garden, now is the time to pick those babies. This is a low impact recipe with ridiculously high rewards. The only heat needed is to boil the noodles and warm up some oil so your place isn’t going to go up 100 degrees while you try to whip up dinner. Fold in whatever herbs or greens you want like arugula, chives, shiso, or cilantro but I kept it simple with basil and green onions. The tomatoes are the star of the show this summer, the rest of us are just supporting characters.
Tomato Tamari Noodles
Makes enough for 4 servings
12 ounces ramen, udon, soba, or angel hair pasta, cooked according to the package directions
2 ½ cups chopped ripe tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, grated
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
½ cup sliced green onions
¼ cup torn basil leaves, optional
Black pepper and sesame seeds to taste
Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the starchy cooking water before draining. Set them aside.
In a large bowl, mix the chopped tomatoes, grated garlic, and tamari together until the tomatoes are all coated. In a small sauce or sauté pan, warm up the olive oil until it's hot and shimmering. Pour this over the tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the pasta water and stir again. This is gonna look like too much liquid but just trust the process. Fold in the warm noodles, stir, then drizzle over the toasted sesame oil, and toss again. Let these sit for a few minutes to give the noodles a chance to absorb all the liquid. Put the dishes away or something. Once the noodles have done their thing- this won’t take long- fold in the herbs, black pepper, and some sesame seeds and then taste. Add more of whatever you think it needs. More herbs, a squeeze of lemon, a little more tamari. Trust your taste buds.
Serve at warm, room temperature, or chill in the fridge for a few hours.
What’s your favorite way to eat tomatoes these days? Or are you a secret hater? Let us know in the comments!