Hiyashi chuka!! Since I've gone gluten free, I've faced the unique problem of being Asian and gluten free. Not to make this a race issue (damn my lower intestines), but for a rice based culture a lot of East Asian food has gluten in it. Foregoing the obvious noodles, pancakes and breaded/fried things, you might be surprised to find that soy sauce has gluten in it as a preservative.
So of course in the world of Japanese cuisine I have to abstain from my beloved tonkatsu, tempura, ramen, curry...the list can go on forever. However, cooking with dog, the famous Japanese cooking channel, recently uploaded a "diet version" of the Japanese summertime favorite, Hiyashi chuka. Instead of the regular ramen noodles Chef and Francis use Shirataki noodles. In this recipe I made the slight adjustment of using tamari (a gluten free soy sauce) in place of regular soy sauce, but everything else is pretty much naturally gluten free.
Shirataki noodles are great for you. Not only are they naturally gluten free and low in carbohydrates, they're also naturally PACKED with fiber. Instead of noodles made from rice or wheat flours, they're made from konjac root, which is part of the yam family. Konjac comes in many forms (blocks, noodles, little bundles of noodles, balls, etc.), but it usually comes in two colorings: white or brown speckled with black. Both kinds are slightly translucent.
The only downside to Konjac based cakes or noodles is that it naturally has a very strong fishy odor. Luckily this problem can easily be solved with a quick boil before using.
The rest of this summer dish requires minimal cooking and is very easy to assemble. I simply cut cucumber, tomato, egg, and Virginia Ham...and ta-da! You have a refreshing and light summer dish to eat on those hot and humid nights.
Although I followed the recipe pretty much to a t, the one thing I did for you guys is compare the two different sauce recipes that she used.
- Lemon Tamari -
100ml Hot Water (3.38 fl. oz)
1/2 tsp Torigara Soup Base - Powdered Chicken Soup Base
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Tamari
1 tbsp Vinegar
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Sesame Oil
- Sauce - (180ml/6.1 fl oz)
3 tbsp Tamari
4 tbsp Vinegar
2 tbsp Sugar
70ml Water (2.4 fl oz)
½ tsp Ginger Root, grated
1 tsp Sesame Oil
Between my boyfriend and I, we both preferred Sauce B over Sauce A. Obviously both sauces have the same sweet, salty, and tangy notes, but Sauce B has a much stronger flavor because of the ginger. The chicken powder sort of dulled down the original citrus notes of the lemon and gave the whole sauce a milder flavor.
I hope you like it!