This is another Japanese sesame sauce for noodles—spiced up with toban jiang and served on ramen noodles it’s perfect for a hot summer day.
The toppings can include whatever vegetables that are in season: tomatoes, cucumbers, bean sprouts, summer squash, chard, and so on.
You can use chicken, tofu, ham, meatballs, hard boiled eggs… The recipe here includes a nice way to poach chicken breasts that won’t overheat your kitchen, nor will it strain your powers of concentration.
Chilled Chukasoba with Spicy Sesame Sauce
Hiyashi Chukasoba Mushidori to Gomadare
Toppings – Chicken:
- 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons salt
Bring a quart of water to a boil, and add the chicken breast, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, add the salt, and let the chicken steep in its cooking liquid for half an hour. Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid, plunge it into ice water, and let it stand for 10 minutes. Drain, and wipe the chicken with paper towels. Shred into 3″ lengths.
Toppings – Vegetables:
- 2 Japanese cucumbers
- 2 medium tomatoes
Julienne the cucumbers. Salt lightly and let sit for a few minutes. Squeeze out water. Cut the tomatoes into strips—the skin and meat next to it can be cut into strips. The inner part, forget it; just make it chopstick sized. Grind some black pepper over the tomatoes.
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons toban jiang (chile-bean sauce)
- In a skillet, heat the sesame oil then add the toban jiang. Cook until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a mini-food processor. (or you can mix by hand with a bowl and whisk)
- 1/4 cup sesame paste, preferably Japanese (next time, I’ll go with 1/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup hot brewed plain black tea
- 2 Tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon komezu (rice vinegar)
- 3 Tablespoons chopped scallion, white part only
Add the sesame paste to the food-processor, and blend until smooth. Add the hot tea, 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring or blending until smooth. Add the soy sauce, sugar, rice wine vinegar and green onions and mix until smooth. Reserve.
- 13 ounces dried chukasoba noodles
- a large pot of boiling water
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
Cook the noodles according to package directions. Test for doneness by removing one noodle and biting it. Drain in a colander, and rinse the noodles under cold running water. Drain well again. Toss with sesame oil. Note that the ramen noodles are not the same as “instant” noodles. Chukasoba means Chinese noodles, also called ramen.
Divide the noodles among 4 individual bowls. Add some of the sauce, and toss. Decorate each serving with the chicken, cucumber, and tomato. Top with the more sauce if you like, and serve.
More in this series about ramen:
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