Hiyashi chūka is made with cold Chinese-style egg noodles, with sweet vinegar sauce topped with vegetables, egg and meat. It is a great dish to have on a hot summer day. The instructions are long because I have explained the preparation of toppings in detail. But it is actually quite fast to make and minimal cooking is required. You can vary the toppings if you like. Please see note 5 for suggested toppings.
Add rice vinegar, dashi stock and sugar to a small pot and place it over high heat to warm it up enough to dissolve the sugar. You can do this in the microwave, if you prefer.
Slice cucumber diagonally into 3mm (⅛") thick, 7cm long slices. Then julienne them into 3mm (⅛") wide sticks.
Steam or boil bean sprouts for a few minutes, then cool them down. If using a microwave, place bean sprouts in a bowl, covered with cling wrap, then cook for 2 minutes on high.
Slice the ham into 5mm (3/16") strips.
Boil black fungus for a minute, drain and finely slice it.
Add oil to a non-stick frypan and heat over medium high heat. Wipe excess oil with kitchen paper.
Hold the handle of the frypan in your dominant hand. Pour the egg mixture into the centre of the frypan with the other hand while moving the frypan to spread the egg outward thinly. You should use about 1/3 of the egg mixture using a frypan with a 25cm (10") diameter.
Repeat with the rest of egg mixture and place cooked crepes on top of each other.
Cut the crepes into half to semi-circle shape. Place one pile of semi-circle on top of the other and cut the crepes into 5mm (3/16") wide slices perpendicular to the first cut.
Cook for a few minutes as per the instructions on the noodle package.
Group each topping together, and place them on the noodles so that sliced toppings are all pointing to the centre except the black fungus which is placed in the centre .
1. I used smoked leg ham but you can use any kind of ham. Other typical meat toppings are steamed chicken and yakibuta. I am planning to post yakibuta recipe next week.
2. I used thin Chinese egg noodles as I had some in the fridge. But you can use slightly thicker ones or even dried noodles (please see the sample photos in the blog). I find that ready-to-use steamed noodles tend to be too soft without firmness.
Hokkein noodles and Chow Mein noodles are not suitable.
3. Please refer to Home Style Japanese Dashi Stock to make dashi stock. If you prefer stronger flavour, you could reduce the amount of dashi stock or even omit.
4. You could also sprinkle roasted white sesame seeds or finely julienned yakinori (roasted seaweed) over the toppings. Some shops also add pickled red ginger in the centre to add colour to the dish.
5. Topping can vary. Other suggested toppings include sliced tomatoes, rehydrated wakame seaweed, blanched julienned carrot, steamed/blanched chicken breast, crab meat, prawns, julienned yakibuta (Japanee char siu - recipe will come soon).