If you've ever visited Japan during summer or have experience eating at Japanese restaurants, you may already know about 冷やし中華 hiyashi chuka, the chilled Chinese cuisine-inspired noodle dish considered a staple of summer. More salad than soup, it has a sweet and savory sesame sauce with a colorful mix of veg and protein toppings like cucumbers, ham, and fried eggs, all sliced into thin strips.
However, as tasty as it is, it's not the only chilled noodle dish you can enjoy.
Born in Yamagata Prefecture in 1952, 冷やしラーメン (hiyashi ramen | literally chilled ramen) is another summer noodle favorite, popular not only in Yamagata but throughout Japan for its delicious and refreshing taste.
If you want to make it, you're in luck! おっくん Okkun, a ramen lover, shares his recipe on his YouTube Channel 『おっくんの宅飲みグルメ』 (okkun no taku-nomi gurume | "Okkun's drink-at-home tasty cuisine").
The recipe for cold ramen shown in the video is simply to make a broth with aromatic oil and add boiled noodles.
The key to Okkun-san's style of cold ramen is the 香味油 (komi abura | literally, "flavored oil"). After tasting the freshly made ramen, Okkun-san said, "The decisive factor is the flavored oil. It makes all the difference!"
For the savory oil, put 200 ml of rice oil and 2 packets (about 18 g or 4.5 tsp) of dashi stock powder of your choice in a frying pan and heat over low heat for 10 minutes to extract the flavor. It's important to keep the heat low so as not to burn the ingredients.
When it turns golden brown, remove from heat, cool for an hour, place in a container, and voila! It's easy, isn't it?
You can use vegetable oil such as salad oil or canola oil instead of rice oil.
By mixing the oil with the soup, the flavor of seafood spreads in your mouth, creating a very authentic cold ramen!
Mix this flavored oil with the following seasonings to make soup. After making the soup, refrigerate it.
Soy sauce: 1 tbsp
Chicken broth: 1 tbsp
Sugar: 1 tsp
Vinegar: 1 tsp
Dashi stock: 2 g
Ajinomoto (MSG): 10 shakes (1 g to 1.5 g)
Salt: a pinch
Water: 30 cc
Flavored oil: 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil
Finally, add ramen noodles (preferably fresh, if you can find it) boiled, then chilled in ice water, green onions, etc. to the chilled soup from the refrigerator, and your cold ramen is ready.
The sight of Okkun enjoying a bowl of cold ramen paired with a dry lemon chu-hai cocktail makes you want to try it.
Okkun has many other videos on his channel such as "how to make high-class sushi using half-price sashimi from the supermarket" and "the best way to grill a thin steak from the supermarket" that will make your everyday meals more enjoyable and upgrade your cooking skills.
If you're interested, why not have a look?
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