During the hot and humid Japanese summer, even the biggest ramen fan may find the idea of making their way into a crowded restaurant for a piping hot bowl of noodles to be a bit of a struggle. That's why one popular alternative is hiyashi chuka (literally "chilled Chinese"), a refreshing serving of cold ramen noodles with chilled toppings such as cucumber strips, tomatoes, bamboo shoots, omelet strips, and chashu pork. Hiyashi chuka is usually enjoyed with mild tare sauce to replace hot broth in heated summers.

However a refreshing summer treat as they may be, a survey conducted by Japanese frozen food maker Nichirei revealed that 80% of of those asked found preparing the noodles the be troublesome, as it takes time to boil the noodles and then serve them chilled. That and it's no fun to be boiling noodles in the summer heat.

While you can buy ready-made hiyashi chuka at a convenience store, Nichirei has come up with another solution--one that introduces a game changer for instant chilled ramen. Their new hiyashi chuka serves up chilled instant chilled ramen noodles that remain cold even after they have been prepared in the microwave.

Nichirei's new instant hiyashi chuka contains noodles freshly made and boiled at their headquarters, as well as braised pork, broiled egg strips, okra, and red ginger in separate topping trays. The set of noodles and toppings uses ice resistant to microwave heat, so when microwaved at a specific time, retains the ideal level of refreshing chill for a plate of hiyashi chuka.

The new instant hiyashi chuka will be available in Japan starting March 1st.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.