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Hiyashi Chuka (冷やし中華): Cold Ramen Salad

Hiyashi Chuka (冷やし中華) is a chilled ramen noodle dish that originated in Miyagi Prefecture (Tohoku Region).

It is now eaten all across Japan, and is extremely popular/common to eat during the hot and humid summer months.

The word hiyashi (冷やし) means “chilled” or “chilling”. Chuka (中華) — or chuuka — is short for “chuuka-men” (中華麺), which means “Chinese noodles” in Japanese (i.e. ramen noodles).

Read on for more interesting info about hiyashi chuka:

Jump to Recipe

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hiyashi chuka ingredients

The main ingredients of Hiyashi Chuka are:

  • Ramen noodles
  • Vegetables
  • Ham
  • Egg

The noodles used are a typical ramen noodles (which are called “Chinese noodles” or chuuka-men 中華麺 in Japanese). The noodles are boiled, then chilled in cold/ice water, and drained before being plated.

For toppings, there are technically no rules as to what ingredients can be used. One important note is to try and use ingredients with different colors. The bright, rainbow like appearance is one of the appealing factors of hiyashi chuka.

Some vegetables that are typically used include cucumber, tomato, mushroom, carrots and seaweed. The most common meat used is ham. BBQ/roasted pork (i.e. chashuu チャーシュー ), and chicken are also common.

Seafood like shrimp and crabsticks (i.e. kanikama) are also frequently seen. Shredded or thinly sliced egg is also a very typical ingredient.

There are also no rules as to what sauce can be used. The classic version uses a soy sauce & vinegar based dressing. Some other popular sauces include sesame, and even mayonnaise.

Location / Where to Eat

hiyashi chuka 711
Pack of hiyashi chuka from 7-11 Japan

Hiyashi Chuka is eaten all around Japan. It is especially popular to eat during the summer months. It is a very common dish that can even be bought at basically any supermarket or convenience store around the country.

Different regions in Japan may have their own variation/preferences of hiyashi chuka — either the sauce, noodles, or toppings.

For example, in the Tokai region of Japan, it is common to eat with mayonaise instead of the typical vinegar/soy dressing.

In Western Japan (i.e. Osaka area) the dish is more commonly known as “reimen” (涼麺).

Originally, hiyashi chuka is thought to have originated in Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture). Read more about its interesting history below:

History / Origin of Hiyashi Chuka

ryutei restaurant sendai
Ryutei restaurant, the inventor of hiyashi chuka, is still in business!

Despite the name (i.e. Cold Chinese Noodles), Hiyashi Chuka was not brought over from China, but was actually invented in Japan.

There are various theories about the origin of the dish.

The most common/popular theory is that it was invented sometime in the 1930s at a Chinese restaurant in Sendai called “Ryutei” (中国料理 龍亭).

The owner/chef of the restaurant at the time (Yoshio Shikura 四倉義雄) was looking for a way to increase lackluster sales during the summer. There was no air conditioning back then, and customers did not want to eat hot Chinese food during the humid summer months.

Since Japan had plenty of clean water, Chef Yoshio decided to cool noodles in running water, and mixed it with some nutritious ingredients. The original ingredients used are said to be cabbage, carrots, cucumber, chashuu pork, and egg. The dish was also originally called “ranbanmen” (凉拌麺 / リャンバンメン), which translates to something like “cold mixed noodles”.

During WWII, the dish disappeared temporarily due to lack of ingredients (and food in general), but re-emerged and spread after the war ended.

Its popularity grew, and evolved into the colorful form we recognize today. One major factor for its popularity is thanks to the company Daiku (also from Sendai), which created the first packaged make-at-home version of Hiyashi Chuka in the 1960s.

The original restaurant Ryutei is still in business. If you are ever in Sendai, make sure you check it out! (Google maps).

Another restaurant that is sometimes credited with creating hiyashi chuka is Yosuko (揚子江菜館) in Tokyo (Google maps)

How to make Hiyashi Chuka

It is quite straight forward to make hiyashi chuka. Simply cook some noodles, chill them, layer on your choice of ingredients, and add a sauce.

The most difficult part is probably just cutting the ingredients nicely, and making it look pretty. 😘

Below is a basic hiyashi chuka recipe adapted from kurashiru that features all the classic ingredients: ham, egg, cucumber, and tomato.

Hiyashi Chuka (冷やし中華): Cold Ramen Salad Recipe

Course: Main, SaladsCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Easy hiyashi chuka (cold ramen salad) with homemade sauce. Original recipe/images/video from kurashiru

Equipment & Ingredients

  • Equipment
  • Pot

  • Frying pan

  • Chopsticks

  • Bowl

  • Cutting board and Knife

  • Ingredients
  • Raw ramen noodles / “Chinese noodles” … 1 ball / serving

  • Water (for boiling) … Appropriate amount

  • Ice water (for cooling the noodles) … Appropriate amount

  • Egg … 1 egg

  • Salad oil … 1 tablespoon

  • Ham … 3 slices

  • Cucumber … 1/2

  • Tomato … 1/2

  • Optional: Benishoga (pickled red ginger) … 10g

  • Sauce ingredients
  • Vinegar … 3 tablespoons

  • Cold water … 2 tablespoons

  • Soy sauce … 1.5 tablespoons

  • Sesame oil … 1 tablespoon

  • Sugar … 1/2 tablespoon


  • Crack the egg into a bowl and beat with chopsticks.
  • Add vegetable oil to a frying pan and heat over low.
  • Add the beaten egg to the pan and spread out thinly across the pan. Once the surface is slightly browned, remove from the heat and set it aside to cool.
  • Cut the ham and cucumber into thin strips. Cut the tomato into wedges
  • When the egg has cooled, roll it and cut it into thin strips as well.
  • Add all the sauce ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once it boils, add the noodles and cook according to the instructions on the package. Once the noodles are cooked, quickly cool them off by placing them into ice water.
  • Drain the noodles well, and place them on a plate or bowl. Layer on the ingredients as beautifully as you can, then pour the sauce over everything.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • Try to cut the ingredients into similar sized strips (eggs, ham, and cucumber).
  • You can try your own sauces or salad dressings

Fun Facts

  • July 7th is Hiyashi Chuka day
  • In parts of Western Japan, hiyashi chuka is sometimes called “reimen” (冷麺), which means cold noodles.
  • In Hokkaido, it is sometimes called “Hiyashi Ramen” (冷やしラーメン), meaning “chilled ramen”.


Have you ever tried hiyashi chuka before? What did you think of it?

Leave your thoughts and comments below!

Chef Goku

Chef Goku

Chef Goku is the founder and sole operator of The Chef Dojo. He loves Japanese food, and has lived in and out of Japan for many years. He started this blog in 2018 to share everything he learns about Japanese food and cooking. He is also a self-certified Japanese knife nerd. Contact Chef Goku

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