Hiyashi chuka
Noodles and rice
Making fresh udon noodles
Hiyashi chuka
Soba noodles and tsuyu
Mixed vegetable ramen
Soba and coriander pesto
Noodle nori rolls
Noodle and spinach salad
Vegetable rice
Mushroom rice
Stuffed mushrooms
Introduction :: Soups and dashi :: Egg dishes :: Sushi :: Fast food :: Noodles and rice :: Side dishes :: Desserts
1 large salad or 4 small
Hiyashi chuka is a cold noodle salad dish served only in the summer. Traditionally it would be topped with chopped meats as well as the chopped omelette. It can be served as a centrepiece for everybody to dive into or separately in bowls. There is a lot of preparation involved but as it is served cold everything can be prepared in advance.

125g (2 small packs) egg noodles

For the mushrooms (optional)
8 mushrooms (button or shitake)
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 teaspoons sugar

50g (2oz) French beans
50g (2oz) asparagus tips
1 pak choi
1 small cucumber

For the omelette
little vegetable oil
2 eggs
Dash of soy sauce
Dash mirin
½ teaspoon sugar

For the sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp rice vinegar
5 tbsp water or dashi
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons wasabe

Cook your noodles in plenty of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes (check the packet instructions) and then cool under running cold water. Drain and mix in a little sesame oil to stop them from sticking together.
In a pan of salted boiling water cook the pak choi, french beans and asparagus for 3 minutes. Again cool the vegetables under cold running water and drain them.
Place the oil in a small frying pan and fry the mushrooms over a medium to low heat until they are lightly browned.

Add the remaining ingredients and simmer the mushrooms in the sauce until most of the liquid has evaporated away. Allow them to cool.
Mix the eggs, soy, mirin and sugar together in a bowl and lightly beat the ingredients together. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and pour the omelette mixture in. Cook it both sides until both sides are lightly browned and the eggs cooked through.

Turn the omelette out onto a work surface and allow it to cool. When cool cut it into thin strips by rolling it up and cutting across the width of the omelette.
To make the sauce mix all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan and warm them together. When the sugar has dissolved take the sauce off the heat and allow it to cool.

To assemble the salad start with the noodles. Pile on some finely chopped cucumber and then the poached green vegetables. Top with the chopped omelette and finally pour over the sauce. Finish with some chopped spring (green) onions and toasted sesame seeds and arrange the mushrooms around the outside.
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Mirin is a sweetened sake with a similar taste to a sweet sherry. It is used a lot in Japanese cooking and used in many recipes in this book so it is worth seeking out a bottle. Lots of supermarkets now stock mirin and you will more than likely find it in your local Asian grocer. It can be quite expensive but no more than a good sherry.
Sesame oil isn't generally used for cooking but added as a finish to sauces. The oil should be dark brown and have a strong toasted sesame seed flavour. Use any Asian style brand. You will find it in most supermarkets.
Dashi is the basic stock for Japanese soup making. It usually contains bonito or dried tuna flakes which gives the stock it's depth of flavour. As a vegetarian substitute for tuna flakes it is usual to use dried shitake mushrooms instead. This will lead to a more subtle stock with a slight colouration from the brown mushrooms. These mushrooms can be found in all Asian stores.
Wasabi is a Japanese horseradish with a strong, hot flavour that doesn't leave an afterburn in the mouth. A bit like snuff it can freeze your brain if you take to much - not literally!

It can be bought in powder form, in which case you mix it with a little water to form a green paste, or pre mixed in a tube. Use whichever you prefer - the tubed stuff is more convenient. Whenever you serve sushi serve some of this as well along with some pickled ginger and soy sauce.

Rice wine vinegar or rice vinegar is made from fermented rice or rice wine. The Japanese variety is colourless to light yellow and slightly milder and less acidic than Western varieties of wine vinegar. You can use Clear Chinese rice vinegar instead. On many occasions, when I have run out of rice vinegar, I have used white wine vinegar.