Cold Japanese Somen Noodles - A Summer Delight!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Food Librarian - Somen Noodles
It's summer. It's time for somen.

When I wake up on Wednesday morning, me and my big hair (I seriously think some sort of Tease Fairy comes by and gives me 4 inches of mess) pick up the Los Angeles Times. Wednesday is the Food Section, and I'm all about it.

Last week, they had an article about Japanese Somen Noodles. Oh, yes.

Somen Noodles are super thin flour lengths of goodness. They are usually eaten ice cold during the summer. Japan is way humid (think New York and DC in the summer) and they created this cool down food. They are similar to soba (buckwheat) noodles, but thinner.

Food Librarian - Somen Noodles
Somen noodles cook up in a jiffy. Really. 2 minutes in boiling water.

Food Librarian - Somen Noodles
Rinse and rub the noodles to get out the starch. I place them in a bowl with some cold water and ice cubes so everything stays super cold.

Food Librarian - Somen Noodles
To me, somen and egg are best friends. My friend Jessica will say that egg is a best friend of everything on earth. I cooked three eggs way thin (like a crepe) and chopped.

Food Librarian - Somen Noodles
Yum. Egg. My Japanese friend Yuko and can cut the egg razor thin. I can't. Yuko, I need to come to Japan to learn to how to chop!

Food Librarian - Somen Noodles Food Librarian - Somen Noodles
And what is cooler than a cucumber? Nothing. So add them to your somen. And some nori (seaweed). A topping of green onions is a must! :)

The Los Angeles Times has two recipes for the dipping sauce and other sides, but I went the easy route and bought a bottle at the Japanese store! Look for the words "Somen Tsuyu" on the bottle. It'll be the color of soy sauce.

As with other Japanese noodles, it is okay and expected that you slurp these up. It's not rude, it's the way to go.

You can put ANYTHING on the noodles. I'm sure someone in putting ham, Spam, chicken, fish, kamaboku (pink and white fish cakes), veggies, and everything else on these noodles.

Many put ginger in their dipping sauce...I was so hungry that I forgot to do this! :) There is also a yummy somen salad...I'll make that later this summer.

Food Librarian - Somen Noodles
When it gets too hot this summer, have some somen. Have a good slurp!

Buy stuff at the Japanese store...or check out the Los Angeles Times article ("So Summery, so right: Somen" by Sonoko Sakai. Los Angeles Times, Food section, Wednesday, July 1, 2009) for Iced somen noodles and fried eggplant with soy-mirin dipping sauce and Iced somen noodles with chicken and vegetables with spicy ginger sesame sauce
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Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

That has always been our typical summer meal too. I like to put char siu and those fried nori chips.

Audrie said... [Reply to comment]

I haven't had iced noodles in forever! Love them! I've never had it with eggs sliced thinly, but I have to agree with your friend about eggs :)

Nithya said... [Reply to comment]

Looks absolutely tempting. :) yummmm

Engineer Baker said... [Reply to comment]

That sounds absolutely wonderful - I'm saving this for another of those 100* days here in WI where I just want salad.

Mary Ann said... [Reply to comment]

This dish and all the toppings look absolutely amazing! We have humid days going on right now. I should give this a try.

Steph said... [Reply to comment]

I love Japanese noodles! The texture is the best.

Susan C said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for sharing your ice cube technique. I wish I could master the creation of those fried egg slivers.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, this makes me miss home and the ability to go to a neighborhood Japanese noodle house for this meal. So delicious, refreshing and filling. Just love the flavors of the sauce, egg, nori and veggies. Mmm, mmm, mmm! Great pictures, Mary! I have always wanted to learn how to cut egg in tiny slivers, too. is it all about the cooking pan that you use to make the egg super thin? Or, is it really a knife technique? Miss you, FL!!! Racheal

The Scootabaker said... [Reply to comment]

oooh, I just had this yesterday! This is the best time of year for somen! I've also been eating boat loads of sushi. literally, you know, the boats that sushi is served on?! Old school Japanese restaurants. Can't get enough, ever!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

These sound great!

Maria said... [Reply to comment]

Perfect for a hot day!

Corriendo said... [Reply to comment]

YES! I love somen! I just made somen salad for the first time the other day. It's so easy!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

You're right! It's perfect for summer. YUM.

The Gypsy Chef said... [Reply to comment]

I love Japanese Noodles, all kinds. These look wonderful!

Esi said... [Reply to comment]

I am a huge noodle fan. I would slurp this up in record time.

eatme_delicious said... [Reply to comment]

I love how that egg looks!

2.46% said... [Reply to comment]

I love cold noodles during the summer! I agree with you, there's hardly anything more refreshing. This looks wonderful. I also love shredded eggs on my noodles. I can't slice eggs that thinly either, although I think you did a very good job.

Linda said... [Reply to comment]

I'm totally jonesin' for this right now.

A little sauce, kamaboku, egg omelet, and scallions will do it for you know what I'll be having for dinner tonight. :)

Monica H said... [Reply to comment]

I love how quick and light this meal is. And you're so right about eggs going with everything!

Mec said... [Reply to comment]

Just cooked somen, warm version though. I've only used 1 bundle, but didn't know it would be too much for one person. Next time I'll use half of it.

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