Cooking With

Xiu Xiu


by Zofia Ciechowska, food image by Carlijn Potma


Xiu Xiu’s Shayna Dunkelman was raised in Tokyo on her Jewish American dad’s chopped liver and her Chinese Indonesian mother’s nasi goreng. Glancing forlornly at her classmates’ beautiful bento boxes, Shayna took matters into her own hands, bought some Japanese cookbooks and showed everyone how it’s done.


‘Hiyashi Chuka is something quick I like to make for lunch, it translates as ‘chilled Chinese’. It’s a super easy cold ramen noodle dish, and you can decorate it with whatever you have in your fridge. The sauce is the only thing that is pretty consistent. Restaurants around Tokyo always have signs advertising it for lunch in the spring. It’s a seasonal dish, so for me it means that summer’s coming. Whenever I make it I pick some fresh tomatoes off my sunny fire escape in New York and I add them in. ‘



Xiu Xiu’s Hiyashi Chuka 


For the salad:
egg noodles
shredded omlette
pickled ginger
seaweed (wakame)


For the sauce:
4 tbsp water
2.5 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp vinegar
2 tbsp lemon
4-6 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
black pepper


How to make Shayna’s Hiyashi Chuka

• Mix the water, vinegar and sugar in a bowl and heat it up in the microwave so that the sugar dissolves completely. Next, add the soy sauce, lemon, sesame oil and a bit of black pepper and stir well. Set aside.

• The key to making Hiyashi Chuka is slicing up your salad ingredients into fine strips. Get your sharpest knife and chop up your cucumber, tomato, crabsticks, chicken, omelette, avocado, seaweed and lettuce.

• Cook your noodles according to the instructions on the pack; fresh ones are best, but dry ones are also fine. When drained, remember to rinse your noodles in cold water.

• Arrange the noodles in a serving bowl and neatly arrange your salad ingredients in a sunny ring on top. Add your sauce and decorate with pickled ginger..

• Enjoy with chopsticks and a cold glass of iced green tea in hand, preferably on a sunny fire escape.

Xiu Xiu play on 18 May at WORM in Rotterdam. The show is free for Subbacultcha! members. More info here.