Cold Noodles Part Three: Hiyashi Chuka

Jun 12, 2021 | Recipes, Summer

冷やし中華・Hiyashi Chūka

For centuries, the Japanese have adapted and adopted foods and food ways from many culinary traditions. Asia in general, and China in particular, has probably been the greatest source of “inspiration” over the years. In fact the highly popular Japanese summer noodle dish called hiyashi chūka (literally “chilled Chinese”) originated in Japan.

A fairly new creation in a very long history of noodle eating in Japan, hiyashi chūka is a tasty remedy for hot, sticky summer weather that saps energy and dulls the appetite.

A nutty, tart sesame dressing is served with the noodle salad. Two versions are popular, one that is creamy, the other that is clear.



To assemble the cold noodle salad, begin by cooking, rinsing and draining chūka soba noodles.

Then choose, and prepare, your colorful toppings: something GREEN (thin disks or narrow shreds of cucumber are simple to prepare but briefly blanched asparagus, broccoli, or snow peas are good choices, too); something RED (tomatoes, sweet red pepper strips, shreds of red-pickled ginger); something YELLOW (boiled eggs, strips of thin omelet, boiled corn kernals, sweet yellow pepper strips), something BLACK (or very darkly pigmented like shiitaké mushrooms, strips of toasted nori, sauteed eggplant with skin intact); something WHITE (kōji-poached chicken, poached fish, shredded daikon radish, tōfu).

Download instructions for Soy-Simmered Shiitaké.

Download instructions for Peeling Tomatoes.

Download instructions for Kōji-Poached Chicken.

Download instructions for Nutty & Tart Sesame Dressing.

For inspiration and further instruction in making cold noodle salads, head over to the Kitchen Culture Cooking Club page where PROJECT Cold Noodle Salad is featured.

Kiriboshi Daikon

Kiriboshi Daikon

Before refrigeration became widely available, pre-modern societies struggled with keeping fresh food from spoiling. A variety of ingenious techniques were developed throughout the world, including drying fresh foods in well-ventilated shade. In Japan, the resulting...

Funky Fish Sauces

Funky Fish Sauces

Fermented fish sauces can be found in many parts of the world, most having been produced for thousands of years. It is unclear whether each was an independent "discovery" or whether they influenced each other by way of shared ancient trade routes and/or political...

Miso Soup

Miso Soup

An Honorable Bowl of Soup The Japanese have several words to describe their ubiquitous soup seasoned and enriched with miso. The prosaic miso shiru 味噌汁 is a generic word meaning "miso-thickened broth" while miso ji-daté 味噌仕立て is a functional, culinary term meaning...



Kumquats are called kinkan 金柑 in Japanese, meaning "golden citrus."  The fruit is native to south-east China where they have been cultivated for hundreds of years, though the scientific name is Citrus japonica. There are dozens of varities of kumquats but the round...

Recent Posts & Projects