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Chill Out This Summer with These 4 Japanese Cold Noodles

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Chill Out This Summer with These 4 Japanese Cold Noodles

3 minutes

Eating cold noodles can be a great option to beat the heat of summer. Whether you drain and chill your noodles on a zaru or experiment with unique ingredients that add color and flavor, you won't be disappointed with these cool Japanese noodles!

From thick and tasty udon to long, thin ramen, different noodles are used in Japanese dishes to showcase the variety in cuisine. However, if you have only eaten hot Japanese noodles, you’re missing out! Many styles can be served cold for a truly refreshing meal that’s ideal for summer. Just take a look at this variety of four Japanese cold noodles!

Summer Ramen

Ramen isn’t just for college dorm room microwaves. In fact, it doesn’t need to be warm at all to be a delicious and affordable Japanese noodle dish. These thin, twisty noodles are the perfect base for summer ramen. This recipe takes the classic to a whole new level with fresh fruit and vegetables atop delicately chilled noodles. A little sesame oil and pickled ginger round out the dish, making it a delightful option for a warm evening meal.

Zaru Udon

If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, you can’t go wrong with udon noodles. These noodles are thick and tasty, and are the perfect addition to Japanese noodle soup. However, summer demands cold and refreshing meals like zaru udon. Using a bamboo sieve (or zaru), udon noodles can be drained and cooled, then served alongside dipping sauce for a real Japanese treat. For a more demanding Japanese recipe, why not try your hand at making your own classic udon noodles at home? Top the dish with scallions, bonito flakes or grated radish for an additional crunchy texture.

Zaru Soba

Udon noodles aren’t the only kind that can be drained and chilled using a Japanese zaru sieve. In fact, soba noodles benefit from the same cooking technique when served as zaru soba. Soba are buckwheat noodles in between udon and ramen in size, and are more similar to an Italian spaghetti. Because they are not made with refined flour, they are typically considered a healthier variety of noodle. Plus, they have a nutty flavor. When served as zaru soba, you can enjoy the chilly thrill of dipping the noodles in a dipping sauce called tsuyu, made with soy sauce. Looking for something interesting and seasonal? Try chasoba. These soba noodles are mixed with green tea, giving them a truly fun and unique splash of color.


Delectable somen noodles aren’t just for the Tanabata Festival. In fact, you can enjoy this chilled dish whenever you’d like, bringing a celebratory feel to any time of the year. These translucent white threads are a healthy option for Japanese cooking, and are typically served cold. While you can simply dip somen in tsuyu like zaru soba, why not try nagashi-somen for a fun and unique treat? Served in a long flume of bamboo at restaurants, visitors pluck noodles out of the flume with chopsticks as it passes by, before dipping them in the sauce. Talk about a meal on the go!