Hiyachi Chuka literally means “chilled Chinese”; however, it is a Japanese dish with chilled ramen noodles and various colorful toppings. Popular toppings include strips of egg crepes, cucumber, ham, boiled chicken, boiled bean sprouts, tomatoes, beni shoga (pickled red ginger), and imitation crab. Soy sauce or sesame-based dressing is poured over the noodles and toppings.
This is a common cold noodle salad in Japan, and always great to eat when the weather is hot. Restaurants in Japan usually serve them during the summer.
Pre-packaged hiyashi chuka noodles can be found at Asian grocery stores, although the dressing that's included has lots of MSG and preservatives. For a healthier option, you can easily make the dressing at home yourself. This recipe includes a basic hiyashi chuka with soy sauce flavored sour dressing.
We used dried Chukamen noodles. In Hiyashi Chuka, cooked noodles are not put in hot soup. The noodles don’t get cooked and softened further by hot liquid, so dried Chuka Men works for this recipe. The great thing about dried noodles is that they are easier to find at a lot of local stores in the US or online. They also have a long shelf life, so it is great to keep in your pantry. They are usually packaged similarly to dried Udon or Soba noodles.
Toppings are usually thinly sliced meat and vegetables and you can add anything you like. Even small Tonkatsu (deep fried pork) can be great if you don’t mind the extra work. Crunchy vegetables like carrots and Daikon radish and leafy vegetables like lettuce will work nicely, too.
Before you eat, you can add extra vinegar at the table if you like. Karashi, Japanese hot yellow mustard (not western mustard like Dijon) will give a little kick to the dish.
- 4 packages of Chukamen noodles
- 1/4 lb. strips of ham / boiled chicken breasts
- 1 cucumber, julienned
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. sugar
- For Dressing:
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 Tbsp. Japanese rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1tsp. sesame oil
- For Garnish:
- Beni shoga (pickled red ginger)
- Nori (dried seaweed) strips
- Roasted white sesame seeds
- Karashi mustard (optional)
- Add sugar in beaten egg and mix well.
- Heat some oil in a skillet and pour about one-quarter of the egg mixture in the skillet.
- Spread the egg thinly and fry until done. Make four thin and round omelets like crepes.
- Slice the omelets into thin strips. Boil lots of water in a large pot and add Chukamen noodles.
- Boil for a couple minutes, following the package instruction.
- Drain and cool the noodles in cold water. Drain well.
- Put chilled noodles into individual plates.
- Arrange cucumber, ham, and egg strips on the noodles colorfully.
- Garnish with beni shoga.
- Pour dressing over noodles just before serving.
- Sprinkle some nori and sesame seeds.
- Put some karashi on the plate if you would like.