Chinese-Style Summer Soba
Hiyashi Chuuka, or chilled Chinese noodles, is an extremely popular dish in Japan during the summer months, and beginning from May you see all the noodle shops and convenience stores advertising it. Typically, it contains sliced ham and eggs and Chinese ramen noodles.
We prefer to use soba noodles made entirely (100%) from soba flour–called “jyuu-wari”–if you can find them. You might be surprised to know that most soba noodles have less than 10 percent soba flour, and the rest is wheat flour.
Serves 2 persons.
50ml soy sauce
30ml rice vinegar
1 T mirin
1/2T sesame oil
Chili paste or Raiyuu (chili oil) to taste
Soba and Vegetables
200g soba noodles
1 cucumber, sliced thinly diagonally, then stack slices and slice again in long thin strips
1 bitter gourd/melon (goya), sliced thinly
*If you cannot find bitter gourd, you can use snow peas (parboil first, then slice diagonally in about 1/2 inch pieces)
bean sprouts (moyashi)
1/2 tomato, sliced
1 inch Naganegi (make an incision in the center to remove soft green core, and cut thinly like julienne strips, then soak in water for 20 minutes)
Additional ingredients (to taste)
Fresh coriander (if available)
Zasai (kind of Chinese pickles)
Chinese pepper (powder)
In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, and sesame oil
Boil noodles according to instructions, drain, and cool down in cool water (use iced water in hot weather), replacing water until the heat is removed from soba, then drain one more time.
Parboil the bitter gourd (or snow peas) and bean sprouts in salted water for 1 minute, then drain
In a large bowl, mix bitter gourd, sprouts, cucumber, soba, coriander and sauce
Arrange tomato slices around the edge of a plate, then pile the noodle and vegetable mixture. Top with Zasai and thinly sliced green onions (refer to photo). Add Chinese pepper to taste.