COCORON: Cold soba noodles for a hot summer day

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Dear Food Diary:
On hot days like this one, all I want is a dish of cold soba (satisfying and healthy). I usually get my soba fix at Soba Totto or Soba Nippon when I’m in Midtown, but around the LES Cocoron has my heart. The place is small, so it gets crowded quickly, but well worth the wait.

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I prefer sitting at the counter and watch the boys in action. They are very neat and organized. The key is getting there earlier before the dinner rush. It’s a quick and relatively cheap meal option.

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YUBA SASHIMI – homemade tofu skin
Yuba are layers of film aka skin that form on the surface of boiling soy milk, collected a sheet at a time (sort of like that layer you get when you boil milk). The ones here are some of the best I’ve had. Rich soy flavor, think of the freshest soy milk you ever drank. The sheets are stacked together, so there’s a bite/ slight chew to it. In between each layer an explosion of thick soy milk hits the tongue, flavored by a dab of wasabi and a touch soy sauce. A bit of watercress for that bright grassy and peppery punch.

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COLD BUTA SHABU SOBA – sliced pork, grated daikon radish, shiso leaf & scallion
The nutty and al dente soba are in harmony with the light and refreshing toppings. I need some meat in mine, so these thinly sliced pork pieces hit the spot. The flavors are quite mild, the soba sauce is savory with a bit of sweetness. The grated radish lightens everything with that sweet/spicy note. Wasabi and the shiso really brings the dish together. Fragrant and sweet. This is so perfect for summer.

However, if you’re really not a cold soba person, they also have hot soups and dips to choose from, personally I prefer the dip over the soup.

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STAMINA DIP SOBA – pork, scallion, chicken meatball, burdock, scallion & shiitake mushroom in dipping sauce
You dip the cold soba in this warm sauce. It’s definitely heartier than the cold option. There an earthy and nutty mixture between the burdock and the buckwheat that made the soba. I love that their noodle is always al dente and never that sticky to the teeth sensation. This was definitely “heartwarming” which is what Cocoron means. Though there wasn’t much meat, the soba is the star here.

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GREEN TEA AFFOGATO – green tea ice cream, mochi, red bean, corn flakes, condensed milk, buckwheat seeds
Awesome japanese twist to an Italian classic. Affogato which means to drown is usually made with vanilla ice cream and a shot of hot espresso. At Cocoron, they’ve brilliantly substituted that with a shot of macha green tea. The corn flakes at the bottom start crunchy before they absorb that sweet and bitter tea. Creamy green tea ice cream, soft and chewy mochi and sweet red beans are one of my favorite Asian dessert combos. The nutty buckwheat seeds add that extra crunch. It’s not overly sweet, I think I can have this dessert everyday.

P.S. Chubby’s Rating:chubby rating 4
61 Delancey Street

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If you’re in the area, stop by Milk & Honey, the decade old NY speakeasy experience before they move and turn it into Attaboy. A Bee’s Kiss is always nice after a long day.

milk & honey nyc