After discovering a new Japanese restaurant in my neighborhood, I found a new obsession. Unlike other ramen restaurants, this one served almost all of my favorite Japanese dishes in one spot including, cold ramen salads, sushi rolls, various appetizers such as takoyaki, and even hwe dub bab (a deconstructed sushi rice bowl). I have tried almost every item on the menu but one of my favorites is the hiyashi chuka, a cold ramen noodle salad. Topped with roasted chicken, ham, egg, cucumber, tomato, pickled ginger, and finished with a soy dressing, this dish is light but incredibly satisfying.
- 4 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 6 ounces ramen noodles
- 1 egg
- ½ cup bean sprouts blanched
- 1 small Persian cucumber cut into strips
- 2 ounces roasted chicken shredded
- 2 ounces smoked ham cut into strips
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- beni shoga pickled red ginger for garnish
- karashi mustard hot mustard, optional
- Whisk together ingredients for sauce including soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, and sesame seeds in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil. Whisk the egg and pour into the pan, spreading the egg in an even thin layer, similar to a crepe. Remove from heat and cut the egg into thin strips.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the bean sprouts and blanch for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, drain and rinse in cold water.
- Arrange the plates. Place the noodles in the center and arrange the chicken, ham, egg, cucumber, tomatoes, and bean sprouts around the ramen noodles. Top the noodles with the pickled red ginger. Pour dressing right before serving and mix with hot mustard if using.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
If you think about it, hiyashi chuka is almost like a pasta salad. It has cold noodles, a sauce, and lots of toppings. I love making a huge platter of this dish and going to town. I mean, since it's like a salad, it's healthy, right?
You can be creative with the toppings but chicken, ham, and egg are standard toppings for the traditional version. I've seen some with bell peppers, others with carrots, but my favorite combination of vegetables is blanched bean sprouts, fresh tomatoes, and sliced cucumber.
The sauce is a soy-based dressing that is lighter on the oil than regular salad dressings. Serve the sauce on the side, drizzling it on right before eating. If you like some heat, add hot mustard to the dish - be warned, a little goes a long way.
Now that I can make this dish at home, I might not be eating out for a while! Hiyashi chuka for lunch every day!
For more Japanese food inspiration check out this abura soba!