What are Hiyamugi Noodles?

Malcolm Tatum

The hiyamugi noodle is a variety of Japanese noodle made from wheat flour. Very thin, these noodles are also very fragile. They are usually sold in long strands that have been gathered into bundles. Hiyamugi noodles are often served cold with a soup or sauce for dipping.

Hiyamugi noodles can be made whole wheat flour.
Hiyamugi noodles can be made whole wheat flour.

The typical bundle of dried hiyamugi noodles will include strands of white noodles that are easily broken. There are often a few strands slightly pink noodles mixed into the bundle, as well as a few that may have a brown hue. While the taste is the same for all the hiyamugi noodles, the slight color variance can add a touch of visual interest. This is especially true when the hiyamugi noodles are prepared as a simple noodle dish that is served with no garnish other than a dipping sauce. While hiyamugi noodles are very delicate before cooking, they are similar to other forms of pasta in texture once they are cooked.

Hiyamugi noodles are made from wheat flour.
Hiyamugi noodles are made from wheat flour.

While hiyamugi noodles are more often used in cold dishes, it is possible to serve them hot, accompanied by a meat or vegetable sauce. Recipes for baked dishes that make good use of hiyamugi noodles can be found in a number of Asian and Japanese cookbooks. While these noodles may not be carried in most US supermarkets, specialty grocery stores and many natural food shops with will carry a selection. Substituting hiyamugi noodles for other thin pasta can be a way to add interest to long time favorite dishes.

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Hiyamugi noodles can also be used in a number of different types of cuisine other than the traditional Japanese. They can work very well with both Korean and Thai dishes, often being used instead of rice as part of the meal. The taste of hiyamugi noodles works very well in a number of cold pasta salads as well. For instance, a simple marinated bean salad may benefit from the introduction of these noodles into the recipe. Hiyamugi noodles can replace elbow macaroni in dishes that normally include a range of vegetables and pasta tossed with mayonnaise or a white sauce to provide new life to a classic dish.

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