Somen are Japanese dried vermicelli noodles that are usually eaten cold during summer. Japanese summer is so hot and humid that you often loose your appetite by the end of the day. When you don’t want to eat anything, cold Somen is very nice and easy to eat. We adults like it, but our kids like it even more because not only is it tasty but also because it’s fun to eat… noodles in ice water… they like that kind of thing.
Like cold Soba (buckwheat noodle), you dip Somen in the soy sauce-based sauce (men-tsuyu) along with grated ginger and chopped green onions. Somen by itself has a very mild flavor, so it needs strong flavored dipping sauce. If the dish is too light, eat with thinly sliced vegetables and pan fried rolled eggs. That makes it more like a complete meal.
Somen is not something you normally eat at restaurants. It is truly home cooking… easy one too! You can find dried Somen noodle along with noodle sauce at many supermarkets in the US. However, we also have a very easy Mentsuyu (Multipurpose sauce) recipe for dipping sauce that is better than one in a bottle. Mix one part sauce and two parts water, or adjust to your liking.
Try this recipe in hot weather. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the coolness of the noodles. Even if you’re not a kid.
- 2 bunches dried Somen noodle
- ice water
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- ginger root, grated
- 1/4 cup Men-Tsuyu (dipping sauce)
- 1/2 cup water
- Boil water and add Somen to the boiling water.
- Cook for a minute and strain.
- Wash Somen in running water, rubbing.
- Put ice water in a serving bowl and add Somen.
- Mix Men-Tsuyu and water, and serve the sauce along with onion and ginger.