While I love a nice bowl of hot noodle soup, I prefer to eat something cool to beat the summer heat. This is when I’d make a cold ramen noodle dish called Hiyashi Chuka (冷やし中華). This cold ramen dish consists of chilled ingredients, so you can prepare everything ahead of time. Just keep everything chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the noodle bowl.
Ingredients for Cold Ramen Noodle – Hiyashi Chuka
Ramen – I prefer to use the fresh ramen I can get from a local Asian supermarket. They cook up fast and have a nice texture. You can use frozen or dried ramen if you can’t find fresh ones. After you cook the ramen to al dente, cool it down right away by placing it in an ice bath or rinse it under cold water.
Toppings – You can use any toppings you wish but my go-to’s are: chicken or shredded eggs, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, cucumbers. Other toppings ideas include ham, shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, wakame (seaweed) corn or cabbage. Add as many different toppings as you wish. Let your creativity take over to create a unique cold ramen noodle bowl! Each topping is cooked separately, similar to making bibimbap. So preparing all your ingredients ahead of time will help speed up the cooking process.
Sauce or dressing – I use a simple dressing of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and sugar. To give it a kick, add grated fresh ginger or some chili oil.
Make Ahead Tips
It’s easy to make this dish ahead of time. Simply prepare each ingredient and the sauce. Then keep them chilled in the fridge. I prefer to cook my noodles before serving. This is because pre-cooked noodles tend to dry up in the fridge and clump together if it’s refrigerated too long. When you’re ready to serve, place the cooled noodles in a bowl, add your toppings, and drizzle the dressing on top. Toss everything together and dig in!
Cold Ramen - Hiyashi Chuka Recipe - 冷やし中華
- 1 chicken breast, cooked or substitute with other protein
- 10-12 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 large carrot, julienned about 2.5-3 cups
- 1/2 English cucumber, julienned about 2 cups
- 6 servings of ramen
- Sesame seeds, toasted for garnish
Ingredients for the dressing:
- 9 tbsp soy sauce
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 4.5 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 tbsp water
- Boil a pot of water and cook ramen to al dente. Once cooked, rinse the ramen with cold water to cool it down. Alternatively, you can place the cooked noodles in an ice bath to chill it quickly.
- Shred the cooked chicken breast and set aside.
- Boil a pot of water and blanch the mushrooms and carrots separately. Let cool to room temperature or chill them in the fridge.
- Put all the sauce ingredients in a jar. Close the lid and give it a good shake to mix everything together. If you have time, chill the sauce in the fridge before serving.
- To serve: put 1 serving of ramen in a bowl, top with shredded chicken breast, shiitake mushrooms, carrots and cucumber. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and drizzle some dressing on top. Enjoy!