True noodle lovers can go for a bowl of ramen any time of year, but in the dog days of summer, it can be a bit unappealing to think of serving yourself some piping hot instant ramen. In Japan, this is predicament is usually remedied by a refreshing dish called hiyashi chuka (literally “chilled Chinese”), which is a cold serving of ramen noodles with toppings more suitable for hot weather such as cucumber strips, tomatoes, bamboo shoots, omelet strips, and chashu pork. Instead of hearty broth, a light serving of mild tare sauce is used, which can make the dish a bit like a ramen salad.
Photo: ささざわ / PIXTA (ピクスタ)
While it’s an easy enough to make dish at home and their are plenty of ready made packages at the convenience store, it doesn’t have quite the instant convenience that its hot counterpart does (although recently a breakthrough in microwavable hiyashi chuka that stay cold even when microwaved was recently released).
Japan’s Yamadai Foods is providing another option for those craving instant hiyashi chuka with a concept that might be a bit surprising to some. Their latest entry in their “Amazing Noodle” series is an instant cup version of the popular chilled ramen noodles!
The new cup Hiyashi Chuka, Nori Seaweed Salad Style seems to be surprising many online, so we had to give it a spin ourselves.
Along with the noodles, the cup package comes nori seaweed, light tare dressing pack, and pickled red ginger to top it all off with.
First, you simply add the nori seaweed to the noodles and pour hot water into the container, then wait five minutes.
The nori absorbs the hot water and expands quite quickly.
In the case of ordinary cup noodles, the liquid sauce is added at this point, but since this is hiyashi chuka, it’s time to drain the hot water–which you can do from the provided opening.
After draining the hot water, pour cold water into the cup to cool the noodles.
Dump out the cold water from the drainage opening and repeat this process two or three times (you can use ice water to speed this up).
Once completely drained and chilled, you add the tare sauce and pickled red ginger to top.
The result is a a very refreshing looking serving of hiyashi chuka.
In terms of texture, the noodles are firm but smooth, and the seaweed is crispy and crunchy after the “cooking” process.
The sour soy sauce-based sauce adds a refreshing taste, and the red ginger adds another tangy accent to it perfect for the summer heat.
While the ingredients are simple, the noodles are hearty enough to fill you up and scratch that ramen itch even though cold. Adding popular hiyashi chuka toppings like egg, cucumber, or pork would also be a great way to make the instant dish even heartier.
Those looking for an instant but refreshing answer to their ramen urges their summer may want to give it a taste.
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