While it literally translates to “chilled Chinese noodles”, Hiyashi Chuka Soba isn’t actually a Chinese dish. Nor does it include buckwheat soba noodles. During the sweltering summers in Japan, noodles such as soba and udon are traditionally served cold. It’s not a big surprise then that ramen (also known as chuka soba) turned into a cold noodle salad with a tangy sesame vinaigrette.
Like its older sibling ramen, hiyashi chuka’s origins are a bit fuzzy, but it’s become a ubiquitous dish served at ramen restaurants all over Japan during the summer.
Since fresh ramen noodles are tough to find in the US, I’ve substituted dried udon noodles, but really any kind of Asian noodle will work just fine. You can put just about anything you want on top, including leftover cuts of meat, ham, or even salami. Thinly sliced egg and a rainbow of vegetables rounds out the toppings along with the tart piquant sauce that soaks into the toppings and noodles beneath.
Hiyashi Chuka Soba
Like its older sibling ramen, hiyashi chuka’s origins are a bit fuzzy, but it’s become a ubiquitous dish served at ramen restaurants all over Japan during the summer. Enjoy this recipe from Marc Matsumoto of No Recipes. See the full post at the Fresh Tastes Blog.
- 2 bunches dried udon noodles
- 1/4 hothouse cucumber seeded and julienned
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 slices of ham julienned
- 1 egg
- 4 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (halve if using regular salt)
- 1/2-1 teaspoon chili sesame oil (optional)
- Put the cucumber, 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a bowl and let it sit.
- Whisk the egg with a pinch of salt until the yolk and white are well incorporated. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until hot. Wet a paper towel with vegetable oil and spread a thin layer of oil onto the pan. Pour just enough egg into the pan to form a thin crepe. Once set, use a spatula to flip and cook the other side until just set. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat until you’ve used all the egg. Stack the egg “crepes” and roll them together. Use a sharp knife to slice the egg as thinly as possible.
- Boil the udon noodles according to the package directions. When the noodles are done, drain in a colander and run cold water over them until they are at room temperature. Add the noodles to a bowl of ice water to chill the noodles, and then drain well in a colander.
- Add the water, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, salt, and chili sesame oil into a bowl and whisk together.
- Split the noodles between two bowls and top with the pickled cucumber, ham, egg, and tomatoes. Pour the sauce over the noodles to taste.
Yield: 2 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a food blogger and photographer who spreads his passion for food through his websites norecipes.com and wanderingcook.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blogs in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.