BY KIRSTEN ADACHI
Hiyashi chuuka is my favourite summer food and a great summer lunch to take to work or school. Hiyashi chuuka (冷やし中華 or ひやしちゅうか) is basically cold ramen noodles topped with fresh veggies, meat, and sauce. The noodles are egg based so if you have allergies, be careful.
These ingredients are my favourite combination–ham, cucumber, and soy-based sauce. The sesame sauce (胡麻だれ or ごまだれ) is also really good but I love vinegary food so I usually stick with the soy sauce base. Almost any salad veggies will do. I often will add some salad greens and some extra veggies. Not only is this lunch delicious, it is also fairly healthy and affordable. You can buy the noodle/sauce packages for ¥300 for two servings and all you have to add is the veggies.
Hiyashi Chuuka Bento
1 serving noodles
1 sauce package
1/2 to 1 cucumber, cut into match sticks
2 slices of ham, cut the same size as the cucumber
Other veggies (cut a similar size to the cucumber, if possible)
Start by cooking the noodles according to the directions on the package–probably 3–5 minutes. When the noodles are cooked, cool immediately in an ice bath or under cool water. When cool, put in your container of choice and top with the veggies. You don’t need to arrange them nicely as they will shift in your bag. Add the sauce package unopened to the container. Just before serving, drizzle the noodles with sauce and gently stir until the noodles unstick. When you are finished don’t forget to dump the extra sauce to prevent spillage in your bag.