Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen with Amazu Dare Dressing)
Hiyashi Chuka, chilled ramen noodles with a variety of shredded vegetables, eggs, meat toppings, and cold tare (vinegar dressing), is a very popular dish that is often made at home. The easiest way to make it is to get a packaged Hiyashi Chuka kit that includes noodles and tare, which you can find it at many Asian grocery stores these days. But it’s so easy to make your own tare, and topping choices are very flexible. You can use any leftover veggies in the fridge, although Kinshi tamago (shredded egg crepe), cucumber, and either ham, cha-shu pork, or chicken tenders are seen in most recipes. The most common tare is amazu dare (a soy sauce-based sweet and sour dressing). There is also goma dare, a richer tare that includes sesame paste. I am sharing a simple recipe with amazu dare. You can then add some creative twists to make your own version of Hiyashi Chuka.
  1. For amazu dare, combine all ingredients except ginger and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Turn off heat, add ginger and lemon juice, and transfer tare to a container. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then chill in fridge. The tare will keep for up to a month in the fridge, so you should have enough to make Hiyashi Chuka several times.
  2. For Kinshi tamago (shredded egg crepe), beat eggs and add a pinch of salt and the potato starch mixture. Mix well. Heat a 9-inch non-stick or greased stainless steel pan over medium heat. Pour one quarter of the egg batter into the pan, spreading the batter evenly to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds, or until the surface is no longer wet and the edges are starting release from the pan edges. Pick up the edge of the crepe and flip it. Cook for about 10 to 15 seconds, transfer the crepe to a cutting board, and cool to room temperature. Cut the crepe into quarters, stack the pieces into a pile, then slice them thinly. Put aside.
  3. If you are using chicken breast for the meat topping, place chicken in a deep pot and add enough water to cover by one inch, along with ginger root and green onion. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook for one minute. Cover pot and turn off the heat. Leave the lid on for about 30 minutes; chicken will continue to cook with residual heat. Cut into chicken to make sure it is no longer pink inside. Tear cooked chicken into shreds. If you are using cha-shu pork or cooked ham, slice into matchstick-sized pieces about 2 inches long. Put aside.
  4. For noodles, boil 7-8 cups of water in a deep pot. Follow the cooking instructions on the package. Cooking time is usually 1-3 minutes. Drain noodles and give them a quick rinse under cold running water.
  5. Divide the cooked noodles into four portions and put each serving in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Garnish with Kinshi tamago, cucumber, meat, and tomatoes, and put a teaspoon of mustard on the edge of the bowl or plate. Pour 4 oz of amazu dare around the noodles and mix tare and mustard if you like as you toss the toppings and noodles together. Enjoy the authentic Hiyashi Chuka experience!