Beat the Heat with... Cold Ramen!? Make Hiyashi Chuka, a Delicious Summer Food

Have you ever heard of hiyashi chuka before? Its a cheap, popular summertime meal that Japanese people love using common summer ingredients! Hiyashi chuka is a staple in convenience stores and supermarkets because its simple and delicious, filling, and surprisingly refreshing, too. It has even made appearances in anime such as Koufuku Graffiti and King of Prism! Are you interested yet? Keep reading to find out more about this dish - and how to make it yourself this summer, too!

Not Your Typical Ramen

A lot of people have had ramen before, or at the very least, instant cup noodle. Hiyashi chuka is a dish that also uses ramen noodles, but it’s far from your usual bowl of ramen. Firstly, hiyashi chuka is served cold, which is part of what makes it so refreshing to enjoy on a hot summer day! Its a kind of cold ramen salad full of fresh summer ingredients. And while no ramen is healthy to eat, its at least got a few good things in it so you don’t have to feel quite so guilty for indulging in it now and again.

Japanese people love to eat hiyashi chuka for lunch or dinner, and its actually quite filling without leaving you feeling heavy even though its noodle-based. And while the name “hiyashi chuka” translates directly to “chilled Chinese,” we promise this dish is 100% Japanese in origin.

As long as you are able to find some fresh ramen noodles at your local Asian supermarket, the rest of the ingredients should be easy enough to pick up anywhere. We especially recommend using cucumbers and tomatoes as your main vegetables as they are the most refreshing for a summer meal, but as you’ll see in the recipe, hiyashi chuka can be catered to whatever your tastes may be and to what you are able to find. Now that you know what hiyashi chuka is, let’s get onto how to make it!

Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen Salad) (can be vegetarian friendly, too!)

What you need:

For the dressing

2 tbsp

2 tbsp
soy sauce

2 tbsp

2 tbsp
rice vinegar

2 tsp
sesame oil

2 tsp

1 tsp
grated ginger

salt and pepper

For the usuyaki tamago (shredded egg)

large egg (beaten)

1 1/2 tsp


For the salad

small cucumber (julienned)

small tomatoes (wedged)

slices ham (cut into thin strips) (omit to make it vegetarian!)

fresh ramen noodles


Bean sprouts (blanched), wakame dried seaweed, sesame seeds, imitation crab meat, or any other salad toppings you like!

How to Cook It:

  1. 1

    First, combine all of the dressing ingredients in one bowl and whisk them together. You can leave the dressing in the fridge for now to chill, and it will be much more refreshing later!
  2. 2

    Next, combine the egg, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and pour into a frying pan with a little oil. You want to make it very thin, like an egg crepe, so spread it out across the bottom of the entire pan and cook both sides thoroughly. When it’s finished cooking, let it cool and then slice the usuyaki tamago into thin strips and set it aside.
  3. 3

    Now its time to prepare the other salad toppings. If you haven’t yet, cut the cucumber, tomatoes, and ham. Gather any other optional ingredients you want to add.

  4. 4

    Bring a pot of water to a boil for the ramen noodles. Be sure to separate the noodles as much as possible before adding them to the water. Cook them according to the instructions on the package, drain, and rinse. Then soak the noodles in cold water to cool then off, and rinse one more time.

  5. 5

    Finally, divide the noodles in two bowls and top with your desired topping ingredients. Pour the cold dressing over everything just before serving and enjoy!


Final Thoughts

Hiyashi chuka may have a lot of ingredients, but its not that much work once you have everything together to make it! You can experiment with how much dressing you like and what kind of toppings you want as well; while we provided the most traditional choices, don’t limit yourself and choose what you want to eat. If you do want to stick to tradition, you can try serving a bit of pickled ginger and hot mustard on the side, too, for a little extra kick and flavour and a true Japanese experience.

Did you enjoy our recipe for hiyashi chuka? How did yours turn out, and what toppings did you end up using? Are there any other Japanese summer foods you would love to learn how to make? Let us know your comments and questions below!

HiyashiChuka2-700x394 Beat the Heat with... Cold Ramen!? Make Hiyashi Chuka, a Delicious Summer Food


Author: Jet Nebula

Living the dream in Tokyo, where you can find me working at a theme café catered towards women. When I’m not writing for Honey’s, I’m working on original dystopian science fiction or blogging about Tokyo’s trendy coffee scene. I spend my free time in Harajuku and Shibuya wearing alternative Japanese street fashion. I love video games, J-rock, tattoos, and Star Wars.

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