This is my absolute favorite summer food in Japan. There is something about the vinegary sauce and fresh cucumber. Or maybe it is the chewy noodles. Actually, it’s everything. It’s not sold year round here and when I first spot it in the supermarket in late spring, I get excited. This is also one of my favorite bento lunches as well. They usually sell two types, vinegary soy and sesame. The sesame one usually has golden letters and the vinegary one has blue letters. I used to be a big fan of sesame but currently only buy the vinegary one. I also love that it takes no more than ten minutes to make and assemble this dish.
It usually comes in packs for two or three. Everything will come individually packaged for easy single servings.
1 Japanese cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks (most people use 1/2 but I love cucumber so use a whole)
3-5 slices of ham, cut into thin slivers
1 pack of noodles
1 sauce pack
fried egg, cut into slivers (I never use this)
After you start heating up water to cook the noodles, start chopping toppings into matchsticks. As you can see I am not diligent in making my slivers small.
Boil the noodles until they lose the doughy look but are still a bit chewy. Immediately drain and cool in an ice bath. Once cooled, drain again and place in your serving bowl.
Top the noodles with cucumber, ham and egg, if using. Pour the sauce pack over the top and serve.
***You can also take this as a bento if you don’t open the sauce pack until lunch time. The noodles will be glued together by then so you have two options: rinse them with water or pour the sauce pack and stir like crazy. Both work well.