Since it’s after Labor Day, I guess it’s officially fall now but we have summer-like weather in September and October where I live (San Francisco, California). The temperature was a record high here last weekend. It was a triple-digit temperature for two days in a row which I’ve never experienced in San Francisco before.
When it’s hot, we eat a lot of cold noodles in Japan. There are many variety of cold noodles – soba noodles, thick wheat noodles cold “somen” (素麺), udon noodles, ramen noodles etc. Today I’m making one of my favorite cold noodle dishes called “hiyashi chuka” (冷やし中華). It is a cold ramen noodles dish.
Basically, you pour sauce over cold ramen noodles and put whatever you want on the noodles. Traditionally, this dish is not vegan and commonly topped with ham or some sort of meat. I am using frozen tofu – “kori tofu” (凍り豆腐) to replace meat. I’ll show you the recipe to make kori tofu in my next blog post.
It’s pretty simple to make. I’ll show the step-by-step instructions but the shorter version of the recipe and the list of the ingredients are available at the bottom of this blog. Let’s begin!
- Boil ramen noodles according to the packege instructions and drain. Rinse with cold water.
I use this rice ramen noodles today. You can use any noodles you like.
2. Mix the sauce ingredients well
3. Cut vegetables. For the vegetables you can, cut them into matchsticks.
I used corn,, tomato, cucumber, carrot, yellow bell pepper and wakame (seaweed). You don’t need have these many veggies. To me, the basic toppings are cucumber, tomato and wakame. Others here are not commonly used but I had them at home so I decided to use them for more colors. 🙂
Carrot and yellow bell peppers are cut into matchsticks. I used fresh wakame so I rinse off the salt coating wakame. You can use hydrated dried wakame too.
I also cut cucumber into matchsticks. I cut tomato into small wedges. I removed corn kernels from the cob and quickly blanched them.
In addition, I sliced avocado and shiitake mushroom which was used to make basic vegan Japanese dashi for toppings.
4. Crumble kori tofu (the recipe coming soon!)
5. Put noodles on a plate and pour the sauce
6. Top noodles with vegetables and kori tofu and sprinkle sesame seeds.
If you like really cold noodles, you can put the noodles and vegetables in the fridge before pouring sauce.
This dish is refreshing and keeps you cool on a hot summer day like the one we just had! Even it’s not hot, it’s still a tasty dish to enjoy.
You can certainly mix the noodles and veggies and eat them but I don’t mix them all together like Korean bibimbap. I just pick up noodles and some toppings together and eat them.
Adding avocado is a nice touch since all other veggies are pretty plain. The fatness of avocado goes well with this refreshing ramen dish! I hope you give a try.
- 1 package ramen noodles
- Vegetables of your choice for toppings (as much as you want)
- Kori tofu (the recipe coming soon!)
- 1-2 teaspoon ground sesame seeds
- ¼ cup basic vegan Japanese dashi
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon mirin or sweetener of your choice
- 1½ teaspoon rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- Boil ramen noodles according to the package instructions and drain. Rinse with cold water.
- Mix the sauce ingredients well
- Cut vegetables. For the vegetables you can, cut them into matchsticks.
- Crumble kori tofu
- Put noodles on a plate and pour the sauce
- Top noodles with vegetables and sprinkle sesame seeds.