This Japanese noodle salad is refreshing on a hot humid day. Just looking at it will revitalize your spirits. In fact, the noodles are called spring rain ((春雨) harusame in Japanese) because they are clear and cool looking. The soy sauce dressing is light, using a pinch of hot pepper for punch and a small amount of sesame oil for flavor. Choose vegetables and cooked meats with a variety of colors. And don’t forget the golden tamago crown. A salad fit for royalty!
Five-Color Mung-Bean Noodle Salad
Ryokuto Harusame Sarada
Sesame Soy Dressing:
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
- 2 Tablespoons komezu (rice vinegar)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar (I cut back on this amount)
- Pinch of chile pepper powder or shichimi togarashi
In a pan on medium heat, warm the sesame oil until fragrent. Add the shoyu, komezu, and sugar. Bring up to a boil, then remove pan from stove. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the chile. Let the mixture cool, cover and refrigerate for several hours.
- 2 to 3 cups shredded cabbage—2″ long shreds
- 1 Japanese cucumber
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 cups soybean sprouts
Soak the cabbage in ice water for 15 minutes. Drain, discard the water, dry.
Cut the cucumber into 2″ pieces and julienne.
Peel the carrot and cut sticks similar in size to the cucumber.
Soybean sprouts are bigger and more substantial than mung-bean sprouts, so they should be blanched with boiling water for 30 seconds to get rid of the “raw” taste. They should still be crunchy!
Ms. Shimbo notes that you could use other vegetables: parboiled broccoli flowers, asparagus, bok choy, green beans, spinach, bell peppers, fennel bulb…
- 2 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 ounces cooked ham
Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. Heat a small skillet over medium heat, add the oil and swirl the pan to cover the bottom. Pour out excess oil. Put 1/4 of the eggs into the pan and tilt to cover the bottom. Cook the thin omelette over low heat until the bottom is golden. Flip and cook the other side. Remove it from the pan and drain on paper towel. Cut into narrow 2″ strips.
cut the ham into 2″ long thin slices
Ms. Shimbo notes that you could use shrimp, chicken, or crabmeat instead of ham.
- 2 ounces ryokuto harusame (mung-bean noodles)
Put the noodles into a bowl and cover them with boiling water (2″ over the top of noodles). Soak for 6 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold running water. Cut the noodles into 6″ lengths.
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish
On individual plates, arrange a portion of the vegetables, noodles, and ham in a spoke pattern. Decorate the hub with the egg strips. Pour a generous amount of dressing over each salad. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
A note about the noodles:
The harusame noodles also known as cellophane, glass, mung bean, or saifun. I could not find the Japanese version of harasame, so I used bean thread vermicelli. I should try this salad with the potato starch noodles to see if they are similar.
I tried this dish with the saifun noodles. The taste, or lack thereof, was similar. The texture was more toothsome. These were a little easier to eat as well because they were all the same length. This is a good recipe: now I need to work on its presentation on the plate!
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