Hiyashi Chūka (Cold Ramen)
2020 will forever be known as The Year We Cooked. All this extra time spent in our homes provided us ample opportunity to try (and fall in love with) some fun new recipes- from our brothy coconut curry ramen to this easy creamy sesame miso ramen.
We also proved to you that an unbelievably good dinner is just one packet of instant ramen away- and we’ve all been in a serious relationship with noodles ever since.
The recipe we’re talking about today contains the three qualities we love to see in an easy weeknight dinner: it’s delightfully unfussy (read: it won’t take all evening to make); you can prep the ingredients ahead of time, if you want; and it’s a suuuupper satisfying marriage of crunchy+chewy elements.
Here is our own version of the oh-so tasty, traditional Japanese noodle dish, Hiyashi Chūka- a chilled noodle dish with a lightly flavored dressing and a colorful assortment of delightful toppings.
What is Hiyashi Chūka?
Hiyashi Chūka- also known as reimen, which literally means “chilled Chinese”- is a classic, cold ramen noodle dish that hails from Japan, and traditionally reserved for the hot summer months.
However, we’re known to inhale these cold noodles anytime of the year- especially when we want a satisfying meal reminiscent of warmer, brighter days.
Hiyashi Chūka traditionally has bits of shrimp (or ham) layered on top, but if you’re vegetarian- or just looking to eat less meat- you can modify this recipe quite easily to fit your dietary preferences.
The basics of Hiyashi Chūka noodles are:
A chilled ramen noodle base
Cold, flavorful toppings
A fresh, soy sauce-based dressing
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Hiyashi Chūka
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
3 Tbsp canned or defrosted corn, room temperature
3 Tbsp cup sliced red bell pepper
4 steamed shrimp, tails removed
2 Tbsp chopped green onion
dash of black sesame seeds
How to Make Hiyashi Chūka
Begin by removing the seasoning and oil packets from the Fried Garlic Chicken Pillow Pack. Set those aside for later.
In a pot of boiling water, cook the noodles until they’re tender and chewy- or until they’re cooked to your liking. When they’re finished, drain the noodles in a colander, rinse thoroughly, then let them chill in the refrigerator until they’re nice and cold.
Alternatively, you could soak the cooked noodles in a bowl of ice water until they’re perfectly chilled.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl combine the ramen seasoning and oil packets with the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Stir it well, until combined. Set this aside in the fridge while you gather your toppings.
Slice your bell pepper into thin strips, chop your green onion and defrost your corn if it was frozen.
Be creative and add your favorite toppings to your Hiyashi Chūka if you’d like! If you are vegetarian, omit the shrimp and add your favorite veggies instead, and use the vegetarian kimchi ramen noodle pillow pack instead of the chicken.
In the bowl of cold noodles, arrange the corn, bell pepper, green onion, and shrimp. Drizzle the soy sauce dressing over everything (or leave it on the side as a dipping sauce), sprinkle on the black sesame seeds, and enjoy!
Alternative Ways to Prepare Hiyashi Chūka
As we mentioned above- you can (and should!) totally get creative when it comes to your homemade ramen toppings. There is lots of room for improv here, and we highly suggest that you experiment with what’s in season near you.
For the Protein:
The most common proteins you’ll find in Hiyashi Chūka are ham, shrimp, soft boiled ramen eggs, barbequed pork or boiled chicken- but, the sky’s the limit here.
We’ve made Hiyashi Chūka with everything from leftover rotisserie chicken to fresh mushrooms, and been quite pleased by how it’s turned out. And there are tons of plant-based, vegan-approved options too, like tofu and seitan.
For the Veggies:
Cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and other vegetables that you’d easily find in the summer are popular in Hiyashi Chūka- but this is a very flexible area.
Corn, carrots, cauliflower and even broccoli can make delicious toppings for this bowl of noodles, and we’d even venture to say the best vegetables are the ones you already have in your refrigerator or freezer.
For the Garnish:
With Hiyashi Chūka, the traditional garnishes are pickled ginger, fermented bamboo shoots, and black sesame seeds, but that’s not to say you can’t get creative here as well! Consider adding different herbs on top such as fresh mint or basil.
“This cold ramen recipe is the best thing to come out of 2020… nice work, Mike’s Mighty Good!”– Derke (Missouri)
For the Dressing:
There are a lot of options for dressings here, but if you’re in a rush or don’t want to mess with making your own, using a bottled dressing is perfectly acceptable.
That being said, in Japan, the dressings for Hiyashi Chūka typically fall into two categories: vinegar-based and sesame-based.
For this recipe, we opted for a dressing that is light and tangy, with a balancing sweetness and the perfect amount of soy sauce.
Did you make this ramen recipe yourself? What did you think? Rate this recipe card, or leave us a comment below and give us the scoop!
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Hiyashi Chūka (Cold Ramen)
Prepare to fall in love with our spin on this classic Japanese Cold Ramen dish, Hiyashi Chūka. It's a bright, flavorful, and fun way to experience the magic of ramen, on both hot and cold days!
- 1 Mike’s Mighty Good Fried Garlic Chicken Pillow Pack
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 3 Tbsp canned or defrosted corn, room temperature
- 3 Tbsp cup sliced red bell pepper
- 4 steamed shrimp, tails removed
- 2 Tbsp chopped green onion
- dash of black sesame seeds
This Recipe Includes Mike's Mighty Good Fried Garlic Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodle Pillow Pack
- Separate the broth and oil packet from the ramen. Prepare noodles according to package instructions. Drain water from the pot, then run cold water over the noodles until they’re cool. Add noodles to a separate bowl. Add the veggies and shrimp to the noodles.
- In another bowl. combine the broth and oil packet with the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Stir to combine.
- Pour the sauce over the noodles and toppings or leave it on the side as a dipping sauce and enjoy!
Review Hiyashi Chūka (Cold Ramen)
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