Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Reimen, Not Ramen

Reimen or Hiyashi Chuka

When it’s so hot and humid, I love to have this for lunch. We call it 冷やし中華Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Chinese noodles) or 冷麺Reimen (Cold noodles). I’m not sure if this is a Japanese invention or something that came from China. Anyone?

Unlike regular hot noodles, reimen is usually served in a very flat bowl or on a plate, and the soup is poured over the noodles just like dressing. Or you dip the noodles into the soup served in a separate small bowl and slurp.

This was another ready-made stuff again. All I did was boiling/cooling the noodles and preparing the toppings. The sesame sauce came in a plastic bag and was pretty tasty.

Yummy! :D


Anonymous said...

Hiyashi chuka soba is my all time favorite...especially in the hot summer months. I remember the wonderful taste of the noodles in Japan. We would have them delivered to the house from the local restaurant.... Ahhh what wonderful memories.. All I can get here is the instant packaged nooles in the Asian markets. I have tried to find a good recipe for the sauce, but to no avail.. It is always just a bit different...just not the same 

Posted by carlyn

Anonymous said...


Is it salty tasting?? I have never in my life had reimen. We would always eat cold somen on hot days for a simple meal with some side garnishes like strips of thin ham and cucumbers and kamaboko. It was always a nice lunch on hot summer days.

Posted by kyle

Anonymous said...

I love hiyashi chuka! There's nothing better in the hot summer days (well, I also love zaru soba and somen, of course). Oishisoooooooo! 

Posted by Mariko

Anonymous said...

Reimen does not look like the chinese version of cold noodles.

Yesterday, at the Japanese supermarket, I saw a man ordering a bowel noodles in water and a couple of ice cubes on top. How odd I thought, but the man looked like he was about to enjoy it. On the side there were eggs, shrimp, some vegetables. Is that reimen as well?

Well, I am hesitant to try and fall in love with yet another Japanese dish. As it is, I have fallen inextricably in love with raw fish such that I can't
eat anything else. I just can't afford to fall in love with another thing. I am burning a very, very deep hole in my wallet from going to eat at this japanese market everyday--but I WILL TRY ALL THE DISHES!

I am coming to Kochi. But spending money everyday on Japanese food has burned the airfare ticket that will only get me from here, to Detroit, so far.

Thanks Obachan.  

Posted by joanna

Anonymous said...

what's not to love about hiyashi chuka ramen? there is quite a good packaged version you can buy here in the us (a japanese brand, of course) where the noodles cook up just right - a little chewy, not mushy, and the sauce is pretty good, especially with a little extra karashi thrown in. i love to garnish it with a ton of cabbage, onions, negi, cucumber, and shiso leaves. the other day i made kanten noodles (i think my mom called in ten zen?) with a cold soy-vinegar sauce. yummy! weird but good. 

Posted by rae

Anonymous said...

Hi Obachan - I knew I shouldn't have come here, but I couldn't help it... I was thinking about 冷やし中華 all day yesterday, it was so hot. I'm from Iwate, so 冷麺 makes me homesick. 

Posted by keiko

Anonymous said...

> carlyn --- Well, what I had today was an instant packaged one, too ;)

> kyle --- Wow, your somen sounds very yummy! I love somen, too. Reimen is more filling, I would say and the sesame sauce is… how should I describe it?... somewhat sweet and sour, thickened with sesame paste??? If you have tried bangbang chicken, the sesame sauce for the chicken is kind of similar to that for reimen, but not exactly the same…

> Mariko --- I love all those noodles, too :D

> Joanna --- About the guy you saw in the supermarket… I’m not sure what he was eating, but as far as he was enjoying it, I’m happy for him. OK, so you’re on your way to Japan and at Detroit now. Take your time. Kochi will always be here for you : )

> rae --- I guess the kanten noodles are what we call “tokoroten” here. I like it with soy-vinegar sauce, but some people eat it with sweet syrup.

> keiko --- Another thing that made you homesick? Sorry ;)
I’ve never been to Iwate, but it must be much cooler in summer than Kochi. I just googled and found out about Morioka reimen. Hmmm... I wish I could try it, AND wanko-soba, too.
Am I making you more homesick??  

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

I've never tried this before.. :( 

Posted by MrsT

Anonymous said...

It's good. Hope you have a chance to try it someday. 

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

Reimen is based on the Korean naengmyun, I believe. The Korean cold naengmyun has the same basic toppings and a slightly sour (fermented?) beef soup, with a very light color and mild, kind of sappari flavor.

I'm a vegetarian, but usually I don't find the beef taste so strong, so when I was visiting Korea I ate it semi-ignorantly, the same way I ignore katsuo-dashi in Japan... 

Posted by Jason Truesdell

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,
Thanks for the information! Yeah, I've heard of naengmyun and what you say sounds convincing to me. I didn't know it was beef soup that was used for that cold noodle. BTW, I, too, like doing things "semi-ignorantly" sometime. ;) 

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for the recipe forever for the kind of reimen soup you find in Japanese restaurants or supermarket shelves in summer. I live in Germany and can't find the instant version so I want to make it from scratch. Does anybody know how to make it at home? 

Posted by Reimen Lover

Anonymous said...

Hi Reimen Lover
I emailed you a reimen soup recipe today. Hope it helped. So glad to know that someone in Germany is trying to make reimen... :D Good luck! 

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

Sorry Reimen lover,
I tried to email you the recipe but it failed, so I'm posting it here:

Reimen soup
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp sesame paste
lemon juice squeezed from 1/2 lemon
(a little sesame oil...optional)
(grated ginger or garlic...optional)

Mix above ingredients well and refrigerate. Pour over noodles and toppings to serve.
If sesame paste is not available, you could omit it (I guess), but the bottme line is that the amount of soy sauce, vinegar and sugar is 1:1:1. If too strong, add some water or Chinese soup stock.
A little mustard would give a nice kick.

I haven't tried this soup recipe myself, so I'm not really sure if this is really good or not...sorry. Hope this helps.
Good luck. :D  

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

Obachan --
thank you very much! I just made soup based on this recipe. It was quite good. I'm startled by the amount of sugar needed, but you're right, you need that much to counteract the vinegar. Had to do a little adjusting -- the broth was too strong, I thinned it with water. I added seaweed (the kind that gets bigger in water), but actually I don't like what that did to the broth taste, I wouldn't do that again. Added ice -- this was great, because it's a hot, humid morning here.
Reimen Lover
P.S. It's particularly delicious if you are "futsukayoi"

obachan said...

Hi Reimen lover,
I'm glad that you liked the soup (with your adjustments.) Yeah, at first the amouont of sugar surprised me, too, but I think I needed that much after all. I didn't know reimen's effect on futsukayoi, though. Thanks for sharing the info. ;)

C(h)ristine said...

oh this looks lovely! it reminds me of a korean dish called "naeng myun"--which is cold noodles in a light chilled broth.

obachan said...

Yeah, I've heard of it. They cut the noodles with scissors, right?

Tonya said...

Reimen is a cold noodle dish that was introduced to Japanese cuisine by Korean immigrants. I believe the dish transferred from Korea is called Naengmyeon which just translates into English as "cold noodles". Either way though, this dish is wonderful in the summer - it brings me back to my days in Japan!