Cellophane noodle, chicken skin and cucumber salad 春雨と雛皮の和え物

japanese cake

This was a small starter dish one evening. Again, I used what I had at hand to make this simple but tasty dish. The only item I cooked specifically for this dish was the cellophane noodle or “harusame” 春雨. This means “spring rain” which is a poetic name for Japanese-style cellophane noodles. Although this noodle is originally Chinese, the Japanese version is made from potatoes and corn starch (instead of mung bean startch). The other ingredient in the salad was the microwave “sakamushi” chicken which I made the day before.  The blanched bean sprout was leftover from making the “kinchaku” oden dish.

The amounts are all arbitrary but we had about 4 servings of the salad by the time I finished it (small servings as seen above).

Noodle: On the left is a package of “harusame” noodle. It is dried and comes as brittle white straight noodles but once it is cooked, it becomes semi-transparent noodle with a unique texture–somewhat slippery, soft yet al dente. (The package touts “mochi mochi” mouthfeel). This noodle can be used in soup, nabe, or braised or stir-fried dish. The initial cooking needs to be adjusted depending on how you use it. In my case, I used it in a salad. So, I cooked it fully (about 7 minutes) in boiling water. I drained and washed the noodles immediately in cold running water. I cut the noodles into three segments for the ease of eating. The amount of noodle is totally arbitrary but I used 1/4 of the package. When cooked, the volume of the noodle increases about 4-5 fold.

The sakamushi or sake-steamed chicken: I removed the skin of one breast and thinly sliced. I also sliced the meat (3 slices per serving).

Cucumber: I washed, salt-rubbed, washed again one American mini-cucumber and sliced it on a slant thinly first. I then julienned it. I salted, kneaded and squeezed out the excess moisture.

Bean sprout: Mung bean sprouts blanched which was leftover from making “kinchaku” oden item. I had about 1/2 cup.

Golden thread egg: This is an extra but I decided to make “kinshiran” 金糸卵. I used one egg beaten and seasoned with salt. I made a very thin omelet by cooking it on a very low flame using a non-stick frying pan coated with a small amount of vegetable oil and with the lid on. After it finished cooking, I cut it into 4 strips and then julienned.

Dressing: This is an instant dressing made of ponzu souyu ポン酢醤油 (from the bottle, about 3 tbs), dark sesame oil (about 1 tsp), and tabasco (to taste).

I dressed everything except for the golden thread egg. I put the cucumber and chicken slices in a shallow bowl and served the salad in the middle and garnished it with the golden thread egg.

This is a perfect small Izakaya dish to start. You could used chile oil instead of tabasco and sesame oil but this combination is one I always use in leu of chile oil. The combination of the noodle and bean sprout created very good textures and the chicken skin added favor. For instant dressing, the subtle heat from Tabasco and sesame flavor are excellent.

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