HIYASHI CHŪKA: “Chilled Noodles” (Summer Ramen) Recipe

Every year, I look forward to our first streak of warm weather. It has become my excuse to begin making hiyashi chūka, or chilled Chinese-style noodles (冷やし中華) for the season. My husband and I love eating this dish on warm nights because it is refreshing, filling, and highly nutritious! In addition, my guests at the summer pop-up event that I hosted the year before the pandemic struck, absolutely loved it!

The sauce/dressing for hiyashi chūka can be quite simple to make just utilizing a few ingredients (soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, sugar, etc). However, it is a personal preference for me to infuse some additional flavors in the dressing such as kombu and ginger: the kombu to pair with the seafood toppings, and ginger with the shredded chashu topping respectively (I prefer chashu over deli ham, but use whichever you want 🙂).

The flavors of my chilled tare recipe, along with the nori, seafood, and fresh cucumber toppings, make you feel as if you have had a relaxing day by the beach 🏖 ☀️ Yeah, it is that refreshing & delicious! ☺ I am sure your family, friends, and guests will enjoy it as well!

Tare/Dressing: Use about 75ml of tare per 175g of noodles
* kombu dashi (450g of water, 20g of kombu)
* 45g of dried shiitake
* 50g of fresh ginger, diced
* 2.5g of katsuobushi (one packet)
* 15g of honey
* 110g of rice vinegar
* 125g of shoyu
* 50g of mirin
* 45g of oil (30g of sesame oil, 15g of rice bran oil or other vegetable oil)
* slurry –(optional) I prefer a *slightly* viscous sauce (5g of cornstarch, 20g of water)

Kinshi Tamago: A shredded egg crepe topping
* 3 eggs
* 3 pinches of brown sugar
* 1 pinch of salt
* A neutral oil for coating the pan (I prefer rice bran oil)

Toppings: All are optional, but these are just the ones that I used!
* chashu pork
* kinshi tamago
* cucumber
* imitation crab (I like the flake style)
* wakame
* shrimp
* tomato
* shredded nori
* sesame seeds
Traditionally, you could garnish it with karashi, a type of hot mustard, but I chose not to for mine because I am not a big fan of mustards.

TARE/DRESSING: To start, prepare the base to be used for your tare by making a kombu dashi. To do this, you’ll need to soak the kombu in water for at least 30 minutes. Pour the kombu dashi into a saucepan and heat it on medium heat until the temperature reaches 63°C. Once it reaches 63°C, remove the kombu.

Add in the shiitake and ginger into the saucepan and then raise the temperature to 85°C. Allow it to simmer for 20 minutes. Next, add in the katsuobushi, and stir. After one minute, add in the honey, rice vinegar, shoyu and mirin.

Now, take your slurry mixture (if you are opting to use it) and stir it into the sauce. I prefer a slightly viscous sauce, so that is why I add in a slurry.

Stir in the oil, turn off the heat, and allow it to cool before placing it in the fridge.

Hiyashi chūka tare.

KINSHI TAMAGO: Heat your tamagoyaki pan, or whichever non-stick pan that you have available, to low-medium heat. Lightly coat the pan with oil, and then pour in a small amount of the egg mixture (the eggs, sugar, and salt); just enough to lightly coat the pan. It should take only about 15 seconds until it is ready to flip over. Once the other side has cooked, set it aside to cool. Repeat this with the remaining egg mixture.

Once cooled, take a knife and slice the egg into thin strips, and then place them in the fridge until ready to use.

CHASHU PORK: Traditionally, this dish uses sliced deli ham as a topping. However, I prefer to use roasted chashu pork. You can use the same cut of pork (shoulder butt) and the same chashu sauce like you would for any of my other recipes that I have already posted. Since I prefer for everything on my hiyashi chūka to be cold, in my opinion, fatty cuts of meat served cold would not be appetizing. So when making this dish, I trim off most of the fat while allowing the rest of it to render off while roasting. Also, I prefer to cut the meat into smaller portions for thorough roasting (@232°C for 30 minutes on each side). I do not bundle it into a log-like shape, nor simmer it like I do for heated ramen.

Once cooled, (it is advised to wait to slice the meat until it has completely cooled in the fridge for easier, cleaner slices!)

ASSEMBLE: Everything else at this point is just a matter of slicing and dicing whichever toppings you wish to add. Set your noodles on the plate, pour on the tare, place your toppings and you’re done!

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