Harusame salad is a colorful and nutritious noodle salad made with glass noodles, egg crepe, crab and vegetables in a light and tangy sauce. It's refreshing, tasty and easy to make too!
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What is harusame salad? (春雨サラダ)
Harusame salad is a simple dish made by mixing julienned vegetables with glass noodles and a thinly sliced Japanese egg crepe called "kinshi tamago".
The ingredients are mixed in a tangy sauce with a soy sauce and vinegar base. Harusame salad is served cold, it's a refreshing dish and perfect for hot days!
Glass noodles and Japanese culture
"Harusame" or "glass noodles" in English are a type of thin, transparent noodle originating from China. It is believed that they came to Japan during Kamakura period (1180-1336).
The kanji (Chinese characters) for harusame are 春 (spring) and 雨 (rain). The name "harusame" is said to have been given to these noodles because of their thin, transparent appearance that reminds one of the rainsdrops of a spring shower.
While Chinese glass noodles are generally made from mung bean starch, Japanese glass noodles are more commonly made from sweet potato starch. Harusame are thin, therefore they cook quickly. In fact, in some cases you don't even need to cook them, they can be soaked in warm water to soften them before adding them to dishes.
In Japan, Nara Prefecture is the main producer, with Sakurai and Gosho cities accounting for about 60% of national production.
Chuka-fu harusame salad
It could be because of the origin of the noodles, but most harusame salads in Japan are referred to as "chuka-fu", which means Chinese style. Like anywhere else, Chinese cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines and has a long history in Japan.
A legendary Chinese Japanese chef called Chén Jiànmín started to make a lot of Chinese dish spin-offs where he took the essence of Chinese dishes and adjusted them to suit Japanese tastes.
Following are some examples of chuka dishes:
- Tantanmen (ramen in a spicy sesame soup)
- Ebi Chilli (shrimps in chili sauce)
- Ebi Mayo (battered shrimps in mayonnaise sauce)
- Subuta (sweet and sour pork)
- Chinjao Rosu (pepper steak stir fry)
Japanese chuka dishes are usually flavoured with Chinese seasonings and condiments such as Chinese chicken stock (garasupu), tobanjan (Szechuan chili bean paste) and tenmenjan (sweet soy bean sauce similar to Hoisin).
Therefore, chuka-fu harusame salad is "glass noodle salad with Chinese style seasonings and flavour".
Ingredients to use for my harusame salad
Harusame salad is actually so popular that it's served at school lunch, I remember having it at school when I was a kid and loving it. So, I try to recreate that taste that I liked back then with a bit of adult twist.
Here are the general components of my harusame salad:
- Glass noodles
- Fresh ginger
- Wood ear mushroom
- Imitation crab (it's also common to use ham)
- Kinshi tamago (scroll down to see more info and how to make it!)
I also make my own sauce using the following condiments:
- Soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- "Karashi" Japanese mustard (English "Colman's mustard" also works)
- Sesame oil
- Chinese chicken bouillon powder
This sauce is packed with umami from the soy sauce and chicken bouillon, then had a sour and spicy kick from the vinegar and mustard!
How to make kinshi tamago
It's very easy to make but need to know a few tips to make it smooth! So here, I will write how to make flawless kinshi tamago at home with step by step pictures!
Step 1: Crack 2 eggs in a bowl and mix
The first step is simple, crack 2 eggs with a pinch of salt into a small bowl and mix well.
Step 2: Strain the egg mixture (Important!)
This is an important step to make a smooth kinshi tamago. Without straining through a mesh sieve, the finished kinshi tamago will be marbled in yellow and white instead of smooth yellow colour.
Step3: Use a paper towel to spread the oil around the pan
Take a medium sized frying pan (I use 22cm pan), and use a paper towel to spread the oil around the pan and remove any excess (this will prevent heat spots).
Pour the egg into the pan and swirl it around, coating the bottom of the pan with a thin even layer on a medium-low setting.
Step 4: Cook until 80% done
We cook the egg until 80% done so that it won't have any burnt marks on the bottom and to make a beautiful yellow colour. Once it's done 80%, take it off the heat and transfer it to a chopping board.
Step 5: Slice it very thinly
Roll the egg into a cylinder and cut it very thinly with a sharp knife. Once it's all cut, the kinshi tamago is complete!
The thin shreds of egg mix in nicely with the glass noodles in the harusame salad, so I highly recommend making kinshi tamago for this dish!Print