Summer! A season of fun while surfing at the beach or sipping a cold drink while sunbathing. All these might invoke memories of days under the sun in the West, but in Japan, a peculiar cuisine comes to mind.
Summer ramen is various kinds of ramen dishes that can be served cold. I mean, trying to blow out the heat from your steaming noodles wouldn’t help you beat the summer heat. As the name implies, cold ramen are mostly eaten in the summer but can also be transformed into a delightful summer meal. In this article, we wIll explore our favorite summer noodle dishes using different types of japanese noodles. So let's dive in to our Top 8 Summer Ramen!
Hiyashi Chūka is the most common summer ramen dish. When most people think of summer ramen, this dish comes to mind. Hiyashi Chūka means "chilled Chinese cuisine" in Japanese, and though there are many origin stories to this beautiful delicacy, all agree it was first served in the 1930s. A bowl of Hiyashi Chūka is usually served with strips of meat (usually beef or ham), fried eggs, and vegetables in a broth made from sesame oil, soy sauce and vinegar, making a perfect dish for a hot summer day. If you want a vegan version, you can use popular veggies liek tomatoes, corn, cucumber and skip the ham strips. If ramen roodles is not available, try soba noodles as a substitute.
Tantanmen ramen is a Japanese noodle derived from Chinese Sichuan noodles. Traditionally, Tantanmen ramen is served hot, with a creamy paste made from sesame seeds and soy milk or in a spicy chili broth, or a mixture of the two variants. All three versions can be served cold and have become accustomed to menus in restaurants across Japan during the summer. Hiyashi Tantanmen noodles are a delicious variant of the original with less broth but not at all lacking in flavor.
If you are familiar with the Japanese language, you would know "Tanuki" means "raccoon dogs", an animal that's quite common in Japanese culture, but not to worry, they have nothing to do with this dish. Tanuki Udon is served differently according to the prefecture you visit, but what they have most in common Udon noodles (thick noodles made of wheat) served in a dashi broth (a Japanese soup stock) and topped with Tenkasu (bits of fried batter). The cold variant is just as delicious and goes perfectly with vegetables like cucumber and Daikon radish.
You haven't tried a Japanese dish if you haven't had Miso. Miso is an amazing paste from fermenting soybeans with salt and Koji (a fungus). This beautiful ingredient is used for everything from soup to spreads for bread and, of course, in making ramen. Cold Miso Ramen is a must-try dish, served with scallions amongst other Vegetables, perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike. The cold miso ramen is not any less tasty than the hot version.
Yamagata prefecture is known for its mountains, ski resorts, and hot springs, but it's also home to a summer ramen dish called "ice cube ramen". This dish was invented in 1952 in a well-known shop
called Sakaeya (claimed by many to be Yamagata city's most famous shop) to combat the heat. The dish includes ramen with a modest broth made from soy sauce, topped with meat, vegetables, and of course ice cubes.
Cold salad is a refreshing and flavorful dish that is perfect for hot summer days. Ramen salad typically features chilled ramen noodles tossed with a variety of fresh vegetables, such as cucumber, carrot, and bell pepper, along with a savory dressing made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, and is quite similar to Hiyashi Chūka, but with no broth and more vegetables. Some variations may also include protein, such as shredded chicken or sliced beef, or toppings like peanuts or crispy fried shallots. The result is a light and satisfying meal that is easy to prepare and perfect for picnics, barbecues, or any time you want a refreshing and healthy dish that still packs plenty of flavor.
Cold somen noodles are a popular dish that consists of thin, white noodles made of wheat flour and served chilled. The noodles are typically dipped in a flavorful sauce made of soy sauce, ginger, and mirin, along with toppings like cucumber, scallions, and shredded chicken. Somen noodles are light and refreshing, making them a perfect option for hot summer days. What;s interesting is that there are Nagashi somen noodles that are served through a pipe of cold water for customers to catch themselves in some japanese restaurants. Overall, they are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a delicious and healthy meal that's quick and easy to prepare.
Zaru soba is a popular dish that was served chilled on a bamboo basket called a "zaru" during the years of the Edo period. It is made from thin buckwheat noodles and served with a dipping sauce consisting of soy sauce, mirin, and dashi broth, along with toppings like scallions, wasabi, and grated radish. Zaru soba is a refreshing and healthy dish perfect for hot summer days, as it's light and easy to digest. It's also a delicious and nutritious Japanese noodle dish that does not take too long to prepare.
In conclusion, ramen isn't just a comforting bowl of soup for the colder months. With a little creativity, ramen can be transformed into a refreshing and satisfying dish for the summer. From cold noodle salads to light seafood broths, there are plenty of options for anyone looking to enjoy ramen during the hot months. These summer ramen dishes are not only delicious and satisfying but also provide a great way to cool down and beat the heat. So, the next time you're looking for a refreshing and satisfying meal during the summer, give one of these summer ramen dishes a try.
If you want to experience food from Japan, why don’t you try ordering our ZenPop Ramen Box to get the best ramen from Japan!
This article was originally written by our freelance writer Umm-Kulthum Abdulkareem, and edited by us.