Chukkamen noodles are thick egg noodles that are enjoyed in hot broths and yaki stir-fry dishes during the fall and winter, but still enjoyed chilled during summer. They come both dried and fresh in your local Asian market but I encourage you to choose the fresh version for better flavor. Fresh noodles also cook more quickly which is a benefit when you donít want to heat up your kitchen.
While hiyashi chukka seems similar to hiya somen salad, the sauce differs because the thicker chukkamen noodle requires a stronger flavor than the delicate somen noodles. The former uses rice vinegar for the sour component while the latter uses fresh lemon juice. You can get creative with the vegetable and meat mix-ins. Just be mindful of the ingredient colors for a pleasing appearance. And be sure to chill everything thoroughly!
When itís really hot outside, I prefer lighter somen noodles but when my appetite demands a more substantial yet refreshing meal, hiyashi chukka satisfies. It makes a nice all-in-one picnic meal or poolside dinner. Hiyashi chukka is one of my sister Lynnís favorite summer meals. She taught me to love it, too.
1 pkg fresh chukkamen egg ramen noodles
Ĺ cup carrot, grated
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
Ĺ cup cucumber, sliced thin
Ĺ cup cooked ham or chicken, julienned
Ĺ cup kamaboko, julienned
1 egg omelet, julienned
2 green onions, sliced
2 tsp. toasted goma or sesame seeds
ĺ cup dashi
4 Tbsp. rice vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
Ĺ tsp. dry mustard powder or karashi mustard paste
1 tsp. ajinomoto, optional
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add fresh chukkamen noodles and stir to separate. Cook for several minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process. Cover and chill well.
In a mixing bowl, combine the tare or dressing ingredients, cover and chill. When the noodles are well chilled, arrange the vegetables and meats on top, return to the refrigerator and chill again. Toss with cold dressing before serving.
Note: The following links I found feature great recipes for healthy Japanese noodles. And some of the books cost as little as a penny. Can you believe it? (Although shipping is $3.99)