July’s Washoku Warriors challenge was to make one of two dishes: Hiyashi Chuka (Chilled Chinese Noodle Salad) or Somen (Thin Noodles on Ice). I chose to make the hiyashi chuka because it was very flexible and came together in just a few minutes.
The recipe had two different dressing recipes and I chose the one that required no prep time and had the least amount of ingredients. I added a little more sugar and a little less sesame oil for personal preference. Next time, I would add a splash of plum vinegar or citrus juice to brighten the dressing a tad. The original garnishes called for were red pickled ginger, tomato, cucumber, shitake mushrooms, egg, ham, and sesame seeds.
I wanted to keep with the color scheme, so replaced the tomato with red pepper and switched out sesame seeds with flax seeds and some black sesame seeds. I omitted the ‘shrooms since I don’t care for them, and replaced the red pickled ginger (beni shoga) with regular pickled ginger. I also don’t care for cucumbers so next time I’ll replace it with zucchini. I don’t really like sesame oil, so I was very worried about adding it into the dressing. In the end, I was surprised that the smell of sesame was so strong, but the taste was just right!
This dish came together so quickly, yet was satisfying and light–there will definitely be a “next time” for this.