Hiyashi Chuka

It is hot out, and you don’t feel like eating, let alone cooking.  Don’t fret, there is always hiyashi chuka (冷やし中華).

Hiyashi chuka consists of a plate of chilled ramen noodles served with an assortment of toppings and a refreshing sesame or soy-based sauce.  There are many toppings to choose from, ranging from fancy to cheap: char-siu pork, shredded chicken, asparagus, shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, pickled ginger, and so on.  It is the perfect summer treat.  I made the most basic version with shredded egg, tomato, ham, and cucumber.  Offering a nice balance of ingredients, textures and colours, hiyashi chuka works well in a bento too.

Ingredients and Procedure

For noodles:

  • 1 serving of ramen noodles
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • a chunk of cucumber
  • 1 slice of cooked ham
  • 1/2 of a medium tomato
  • a dash of toasted sesame seeds (optional)

For sauce:

  • 2 tbsp dashi
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 drop of rayu (optional)

Cook ramen noodles according to instructions on package.  Avoid using instant ramen noodles: I have not tried them myself, but I imagine that their texture won’t be chewy enough.  When noodles are done, drain them and cool them with cold running water or ice immediately.  Set aside.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium low heat.  Add egg and spread it out into a thin crepe.  Finely slice egg, cucumber, ham, and tomato.  Arrange noodles and toppings in a (chilled) bowl.

Mix all ingredients for sauce together.  Pour sauce over noodles and garnish with sesame seeds (if you want) just before serving.

Afterthoughts

I don’t have any sesame seeds in the pantry right now, so that is why I did not add them to my hiyashi chuka here.  Nevertheless, I would recommend them for their nutty aroma.  I would also love to eat this with a  sesame sauce next time!

Also, if you have the time, you can chill your serving bowls in the refrigerator for an hour in advance.  Ah, the luxury…

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3 comments

  1. Wow, this seems like the perfect afternoon summer lunch. And also very easy to make! What a relief for me who is still quite incompetent in the kitchen. And just in time for school. I’m definitely going to try this recipe out before I start school next week.

  2. Oh yes, definitely sesame seeds topping. A shame you didn’t have any. I wanted to make this dish before I moved house but never got round to it. And now I don’t really have a fully stocked kitchen to do this, until I move into our new apartment next month :p It would probably not be as hot anymore by then!

    Btw, I have an award for you over at my blog :) Not sure if you’re into that sort of thing but I just want to acknowledge a brilliant blog!

  3. Melissa: Definitely give this a try! This is one of those minimal effort recipes.

    Nilmandra: Thanks for your recognition! Like you, my new kitchen (actually, my parent’s kitchen) in Vancouver lacks some key ingredients that I usually have in my own cooking. Gosh, I miss my old place. :P

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