When these noodles appear on restaurant menus in Japan, it heralds just one thing: the arrival of summer. This ramen is a classic warm-weather dish, popular from June until September. Chukka means “Chinese,” a reference to the origins of ramen noodles. And it’s not just a restaurant dish—when I was growing up, my mother loved to prepare this for our family.–Takashi Yagihashi
Chilled Crab and Shrimp Ramen Salad with Chukka-Soba Dressing Recipe
Hands-On Time: 35 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes | Serves 4
- For the chukka-soba dressing
- 1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sake
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Dash of hot chili oil
- For the omelet
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon half-and-half
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Japanese soy sauce
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- For the shrimp
- 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails off
- Eight (3-inch) bamboo skewers
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- For the assembly
- 2 tablespoons dried wakame
- 1 cup hot water
- Four (7-ounce) pieces frozen ramen noodles
- 2 ounces crabmeat
- 2 cups iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
- 12 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced ham
- 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber sticks
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot sticks
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced pickled ginger
- Pinch of black sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup shredded nori
- Make the dressing
- 1. Whisk together all ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
- Make the omelet
- 2. Whisk the eggs, half-and-half, sugar, soy sauce, and salt together in a bowl. Place a nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Pour 1/2 teaspoon of the vegetable oil into the pan and coat evenly using a paper towel; discard the excess oil.
- 3. Once the oil is hot, pour half the egg mixture into the pan in a thin layer and cook until almost dry, about 2 minutes, then flip with a flat-bottomed spatula and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set on a plate to cool. Repeat with the remaining egg mixture and oil to make the second omelet. Once cool, thinly slice the omelets. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Prepare the shrimp
- 4. Butterfly the shrimp as follows: With a paring knife, make a cut along the underside of the shrimp, being careful not to cut through them entirely (the shrimp should lie flat but still remain in one piece). Press down lightly on the shrimp so they lie flat, then thread one shrimp onto each skewer.
- 5. Add the salt to a large pot of water and bring to a simmer. While the water is simmering, prepare an ice bath. Add the shrimp to the simmering water and cook until they are cooked through, about 90 seconds (they turn pink and are no longer translucent). Transfer the shrimp to the ice bath. Once they’re cool, drain, pat dry, and season with a pinch of salt.
- Assemble the dish
- 6. In a bowl, cover the wakame with the hot water and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
- 7. Prepare an ice bath and place a large pot of water over high heat to bring to boil. Add the noodles and cook following the package instructions. Remove the noodles from the water and submerge in the ice bath. Drain well.
- 8. Divide the noodles among 4 plates and top each with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Place one-fourth each of the crabmeat, lettuce, tomatoes, ham, cucumber, carrots, shrimp, omelet, and wakame in small piles on the noodles to form a circle. Sprinkle the pickled ginger over the salad, then drizzle another 2 tablespoons of dressing over the top. Garnish with the black sesame seeds and shredded nori.
Chilled Crab and Shrimp Ramen Salad with Chukka-Soba Dressing Recipe © 2009 Takashi Yagihashi. Photo © 2009 Tyllie Barbosa. All rights reserved.