After the rainy season comes to an end, and the temperature turns up across Japan the temperature of seasonal foods turns down. Shaved ice, fruit popsicles and cold noodles come into vogue in the hot, steamy weeks of Japanese summer. Hiyashi Chuka, which literally translates to “chilled Chinese” is one of those dishes. Picture a plate of cold, chow-mein style noodles (where the reference to Chinese in the name comes from) piled high with baby lettuce, thinly sliced ham, golden strips of sliced creped egg, and julienned cucumber, topped with a couple of juicy cherry tomatoes, all doused in a delightful savory soy sauce and sesame oil dressing. The cold temperature makes this dish refreshing and tasty on even the hottest and stickiest of summer days. Try the following recipe to make your very own Hiyashi Chuka!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes: 3 servings
1 package of Wel-Pac Chow Mein Stir Fry Noodles (also called chuka men)
4 slices of ham (about double if using deli ham)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
3 cups spring mix
2 eggs, beaten
Pinch of salt (for the eggs)
6 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsbp cold water
Cook chuka men according to package instructions. Rinse well, and set aside in ice water to cool.
Julienne cucumber and ham. Set aside.
Halve cherry tomatoes. Set aside.
Combine dressing ingredients in a large measuring cup. Place in refrigerator to cool.
To make the creped egg:
Add pinch of salt to beaten eggs
Heat a small (8-9”) frying pan on medium heat and coat thinly with canola oil
Pour a small amount of the egg mixture into the pan, and spread it thin with a swirling motion.
Cook for 15-30 seconds, then flip and remove from the pan.
Repeat until the egg mixture is gone.
Roll up the creped egg, and slice into very thin strips.
Divide cooled noodles onto three plates (deep walled plates work the best).
Add one cup of spring mix, and an even amount of the sliced toppings and egg to each plate.
Pour dressing overtop of the entire plate.
Top with a pinch of benishoga, to taste and enjoy!