I grew up loving Japanese noodles of udon, soba, ramen, hiyamugi, and somen so much!
One of my favorite noodle dishes in summer is Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen). It is “Ramen Salad” to me!
When I started to eat vegan plant-based macrobiotic food in 1993, I thought I had to give up eating ramen noodles, but I found some companies were making vegan ramen noodles in 2005 and had been enjoying them since then.
Eric and I served Goddess Miso Ramen in the winter season at our “Seed Kitchen” restaurant in 2008~2016.
Summertime ramen must be Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen). I had to introduce it to Eric.
We do not have hot, humid summer here in Santa Monica like in Japan, but I crave to eat Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen) every summer, so I had to make it again this summer.
It is like cold soba noodles, but a much uplifted and happy feeling and cools my palette when I eat Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen); verse cold soba gives me cooling, but a grounding, contented feeling.
You can create what you want to put on the top. I like cucumber, seitan/tofu, scallion, green shiso leave, and homemade red shiso pickled ginger on top.
Japanese karashi hot mustard is on the side, with homemade tamari (soy sauce) and sesame seed sauce.
I have seen Hiyashi Chuka packages in the Japanese market, but they are full of MSG and preservatives, so I have never used them. Vegan ramen noodles are available at natural food markets here, but if you can’t find them, you can use other vegan noodles.
I hope you try making it; then you will know how delicious and enjoy summer ramen!
Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen) Recipe
For Hiyashi Chuka Sauce
- 6 Tbsp Tamari (soy sauce)
- 2 Tbsp Mirin
- 2 Tbsp Lemon juice(if you want sweeter taste use orange juice)
- 1~2 Tbsp roasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp Kombu dashi＊ or water
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- ¼ tsp grated ginger
- ½-1 tsp la-yu (option Japanese chili oil)
- 1~2 Japanese or Persian cucumbers (or ⅓ English cucumber, julienned)
- 3 Red radish (cut into thin strips)
- ½ tomato (cut into wedges)
- 3-4 slices Seitan (cut into thin strips)
- 2 scallions (cut into thin strips)
- 3 Green shiso leaves (rinse and pat dry)
- Red shiso ginger pickle (benishoga, kizami beni shoga, if you buy them at the store, make sure there is no MSG)
For Hiyashi Chuka Noodels
- 2~3 servings of fresh vegan ramen noodles (6 oz or 170 g of fresh noodles per person)
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional garnish)
- Japanese karashi hot mustard (optional side garnish)
To Make Sauce:
- ＊Kombu dashi – Stove top method: combine the kombu and water in a saucepan over medium-high flame. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20~30 minutes. Strain out the kombu and use it for sauce when it cools (this recipe from Love, Sanae).
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk them together. You can keep it chilled in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To Prepare Toppings:
- Cut all the topping ingredients into thin strips (so it’s easier to eat with noodles).
To Cook Noodles:
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. Separate the noodles before dropping them into the water. Cook according to package directions. Drain the water and rinse the noodles to remove starch. Soak the noodles in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain thoroughly and divide the noodles into individual plates/bowls.
- Place all the toppings and put Japanese karashi hot mustard on the side. Pour the sauce just before you eat with your favorite amount.